Hillingdon Council gives local residents festive season advice

Hillingdon Council is urging residents to shop smart and celebrate safely during the festive season.

Members of the council’s trading standards, food safety and hygiene, and licensing team, would like to share some tips to help residents celebrate safely as the year draws to a close.

As the cost-of-living crisis hits households across the borough, it might be tempting to buy much cheaper items, but sometimes the costs might be greater than you think if those items do not meet the UK’s strict safety guidelines.

As more people go to restaurants, pubs, and clubs during the festive season, or to watch the football World Cup, residents are being urged to take extra care in the evenings and be aware of risks such as drink-spiking in crowded pubs, bars, and clubs.

If you are watching football in a pub, it’s worth planning your journey home, as the winter tournament means it will be dark when many of the games are being played.

Food and drink are an enjoyable part of the festive season, however, you can still take steps to ensure you dine safely.

The current concerns around bird flu mean more people will be buying frozen, or previously frozen turkeys for their festive meal. Always follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe defrosting, storage, and cooking. If you are buying a frozen whole turkey you may need extra time to defrost – for bigger birds this could be as much as three to five days in advance of Christmas day.

The Food Standards Agency is also advising people to follow the ‘4Cs’, cleaning, chilling, cooking, and avoiding cross-contamination, when cooking at home to avoid the risk of food poisoning. Read the guidance at

 For food hygiene issues, please visit

Cllr Eddie Lavery, Hillingdon Council’s Cabinet Member for Residents Services, said: “We absolutely don’t want to dampen anyone’s spirits this Christmas, but we are duty-bound to ensure residents are equipped with the knowledge and awareness to enjoy the season in safety.

“In the current financial climate, with many people struggling, unscrupulous doorstep traders may seek to take advantage of the vulnerable, while other residents may be tempted to buy cheaper goods to save money and so risk bringing counterfeit, or unsafe items into the home.

“And with the World Cup celebrations leading into the party season, it’s vital people are drink aware when visiting bars, pubs and clubs.”

If you have a gift that you think may be counterfeit, or unsafe, you can find consumer advice at

Featured image credit: Pixabay

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