With Christmas just around the corner, it's time to start planning for one of the best parts of the season, the food. Fair Go's here with how to make sure you make it safely through your festive meals.
For starters, make sure you take the time to defrost any meat safely and according to food microbiologist, Dr Brent Seale, that means slowly - "the safest way is to stick it in the fridge and let it go overnight".
If you're really in a hurry you can pop it on the bench, says Brent, but "that can be a bit risky because if you can't watch it and cook it as soon as it's been defrosted then bacteria can start growing".
You need to watch out for that bacteria too if you leave food hanging around on the table for too long.
"Every time you leave food sitting on the bench at room temperature or maybe it gets a bit warmer up to say human body temperature, bacteria love those temperatures they start multiplying, they go nuts," says Brent.
So, the longer you leave them, the higher the numbers of bacteria and the more the ability they have to make you sick.
Brent says when it comes to leftovers, you might want to polish them off faster than you realise.
"The FDA and MPI say you should probably only have leftovers in the fridge for 3 maybe 4 days max and then they should be thrown away but really it depends on the leftovers you have. Meat products - I wouldn't go over two or three days because bacteria will still grow in the fridge albeit it very slowly".
The rules may be slightly different for ham says Brent, "it may have a lot of preservatives in it depending on the ham so it may last longer but I think the golden rule is if you’re in doubt of it and you don’t want to take the risk just chuck it away".