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Afloat.ie: Keeping It Cool for Christmas Food Safety

14th December 2009
Afloat.ie: Keeping It Cool for Christmas Food Safety
Christmas advice from the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA), who have launched a launched ‘Keep it Cool, Keep it Safe’ seafood safety awareness campaign which provides useful tips on how best to store and handle smoked salmon, a popular fish for the festive season. Fish is an important part of a healthy diet and fish such as smoked salmon contains high quality protein and other essential nutrients. In fact, a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of fish can contribute to heart health and children's growth and development.

 

The SFPA are advising consumers to take precautions to ensure the safety of the smoked salmon they enjoy this Christmas which includes: ensuring the product is refrigerated or properly iced when purchasing; checking the packaging and ensuring it is airtight and correctly sealed – avoid purchasing or consuming product from damaged packages; checking the use-by date and ensuring there is sufficient shelf-life remaining for your intended consumption date; checking the label for an Approval Number – an oval shaped mark with a unique identification number which is an assurance that the product has originated in a premises approved by the SFPA or other Competent Authority; limiting exposure to even moderate temperatures by refrigerating the product at 40 Celsius or less as soon as possible after purchase and finally, avoiding contamination of the product by observing safe food handling practices in the home.

Smoked salmon is a safe food for most people however, as with other uncooked or semi-cooked meat products, it may present a food safety risk for certain consumer groups including pregnant women, the frail elderly and others with compromised immune systems due to disease or medical therapy – these groups are advised to avoid the consumption of this food.

To get the full benefit and enjoyment from your smoked salmon this Christmas, remember to protect it from temperature abuse and maintain the cold chain. Finally, leftovers are a big feature of the festive period. Remember to keep it safe until you eat it by putting the smoked salmon in the fridge and ensuring it is tightly wrapped or stored in a leak-proof container.

Micheál O’Mahony, Board Member of the SFPA, said: “Irish fish products are widely regarded as high quality, wholesome products which provide excellent nutritional value. The SFPA work with the fishing industry to ensure that fish products produced, processed, sold in Ireland and abroad meet the highest standards of food safety. Consumers have a role to play too. By following the SFPA’s basic food safety tips for buying and storing smoked salmon, consumers can safely enjoy the fine taste and good nutrition of smoked salmon over the Christmas period.”

Published in News Update
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