CANBERRA, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- Australia's Food Safety Information Council (AFSIC) on Thursday released its Christmas tips to ensure holiday food is properly prepared, in a warning to Australians to be careful about under-cooking risky foods this festive season.
According to AFSIC, 4.1 million Australians fall ill to food poisoning every year, with more than 31,000 cases becoming serious enough to require a trip to the emergency room.
Christmas is a particularly risky time of year for food poisoning, but Rachelle Williams from AFSIC said Australians can follow a number of simple rules to ensure nobody gets sick when the extended family comes around for Christmas lunch.
"Christmas celebrations can be risky as they often include several generations of family including the very young, pregnant women, the elderly and those with poor immune systems who can become very ill if they do get food poisoning," Williams said in a statement on Thursday.
"Also you cater for larger numbers of people - putting a strain on your fridge and possibly creating a recipe for disaster at Christmas."
Williams said while seafood is an increasingly popular choice at Australian Christmas parties - as it matches the hot summer climate well - it also carries the highest risk.
"Seafood is a great choice for Christmas and if it is cooked most common food poisoning bacteria and viruses will be killed; but there can be risks if you eat it raw, for example raw oysters or sashimi," she said.
"Be careful and hygienic in preparing precooked prawns, bugs or crabs which can also be contaminated by your hands when they are peeled or shelled."
Other tips include avoiding eggs and raw egg products, refrigerating salads until serving time, making sure turkey and chicken are not under-cooked, and making sure no cross-contamination comes about in the kitchen while preparing raw and cooked foods simultaneously.