SYDNEY, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- Australians are being warned about the dangers of eating raw and undercooked dishes during the festive season, amid worrying rates of food poisoning in the country.
The chair of the Australian Food Safety Information Council, Rachelle Williams, said in a media release that the "risk of food poisoning increases around Christmas time as we enjoy entertaining more and the weather gets warmer, which can cause food poisoning bacteria to grow quickly in many foods."
An estimated 4.1 million people get food poisoning in Australia each year; 1 million have to visit a doctor because of food poisoning, 32,000 people end up in hospital and more than 80 people die, according to the council.
"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.
"Also you cater for larger numbers of people putting a strain on your fridge and possibly creating a recipe for disaster at Christmas."
The council, in partnership with media company Tonic Health Media, provided "tips to keep your family and friends food safe during the holidays", such as making sure turkey is fully defrosted and being aware of the risks of eating raw seafood.