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Sixteen ways to ruin your Christmas holiday

Sixteen ways to ruin your Christmas holiday

Want to spend Christmas on the toilet? Prefer stomach ache and diarrhoea to having a good time?

Then follow the simple instructions below. After years of dealing with notifiable diseases, Hawke’s Bay District Health Board’s public health unit can guarantee these methods will make you sick.

Leave food in a hot car for a while after you have bought it, especially chilled and frozen foods. Don’t take it straight home.

Let meat and chicken juices drip onto other foods in the fridge. Don’t store it in covered containers.

Use the same chopping boards and utensils for everything – chop raw meat and then chop salad vegetables. Marinate meats (e.g. for a barbecue) for hours on the bench. Don’t keep them in the fridge. Cook meat and chicken before they are properly defrosted. Pink poultry poisons.

Don’t buy pre-cooked food which is easy to cook safely on the barbeque.

Don’t check that food is cooked and steaming hot right through to the middle. Put cooked food back onto the same plate that contained the raw food. Leave cooked food out on the bench for hours before putting it away in the fridge. If someone has diarrhoea or vomiting, let them carry on preparing food for everyone else. Drink untreated tank water.

Swim in creeks and rivers without checking the Swimsafe hotline (06) 878 1368.

Let children with diarrhoea share the bath water with others.

Let people who have just recovered from diarrhoea swim in public pools.

Don’t wash and dry your hands well after handling pets or farm animals.

Don’t wash and dry your hands after going to the toilet and before preparing food.


For further information on food safety phone the public health unit on (06) 834 1815.

Symptoms of food poisoning can include: stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhoea, nausea, ‘flu-like symptoms.

Remember foods are prime targets for bugs to breed in, so: Clean hands (wash and dry them) before handling food. Clean utensils and scrub chopping boards between preparing raw and cooked food. Cook minced meat and sausages thoroughly (meat should not be pink) and cook poultry until juices run clear. Reheat leftovers 'til steaming hot throughout. Cover food. The only time food should be uncovered is when you're eating it. Chill food. Keep raw and cooked food separate in the fridge. Use a chilly bin and frozen pad outside to keep food cool. Foods like rice, pasta and potato salads can carry bugs. Keep them chilled. Cold meat or seafood platter should be kept cold. If the fridge is getting full, take out the drinks and put them in a chilly-bin or use the bath as an ice-bucket! The Christmas ham should be stored at the top of the fridge and loosely covered with plastic wrap.

If you think you have contracted food poisoning you should seek medical advice as soon as possible.

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