Enjoying “Poon Choi” Safely
“Poon Choi”, which literally means food served in a basin, is a kind of traditional food among the indigenous residents of the New Territories , who used to assemble in ancestral halls and enjoy this speciality symbolising prosperity and affluence on festive occasions. Rather than fading out with time, “Poon Choi” has been developed from a rural dish in clan halls to a popular cuisine in the catering business in recent years.
At the beginning of the Lunar New Year, many people would like to order “Poon Choi” from catering outlets for its good symbolic significance. Consisting of many delicious ingredients, it is a convenient choice for family and social gatherings. In order to enjoy “Poon Choi” safely, keep in mind the following tips when you purchase and consume them.
When ordering “Poon Choi”, you should patronise reliable and licensed suppliers with good hygienic conditions. As “Poon Choi” comprises a great variety of food ingredients and requires longer preparation and storage time, it may lead to higher potential risks. Hence, you should notify the supplier of the time you collect the “Poon Choi” when making an order and avoid early collection. Generally, half an hour to one hour before consumption is preferred.
When collecting “Poon Choi”, you should check whether the supplier follows proper food handling practices. For example, hot “Poon Choi” should be kept at above 60 °C. Also, you are advised to ask the supplier how the “Poon Choi” should be handled by you. For example, how and how long should it be reheated? Can the original container be used for reheating? Return home immediately after collecting the “Poon Choi” and reheat it as soon as possible to reduce chance of bacteria growth due to prolonged storage at room temperature. Chilled "Poon Choi" should be kept at 4 °C or below to minimise its exposure to the temperature danger zone of 4 to 60 °C.
Before consuming “Poon Choi”, reheat it thoroughly till the core temperature reaches at least 75 ℃ or bring it to a boil. Also, you should pay attention to the quantity of food as the required reheating time increases with larger quantity. Consume the “Poon Choi” immediately after thorough reheating; use communal chopsticks and spoons during consumption; and eat up all the food in one go to avoid repeated reheating.