Enjoying Poon Choi at restaurants is a good choice for family or social gatherings around Chinese New Year.

Poon Choi consists of different ingredients being cooked in advance usually by stewing, steaming and braising, set into many layers in a basin and reheated before consumption. Hence, we should take note of the 5 Keys to Food Safety to protect our health while enjoying Poon Choi at restaurants.

First, choose. We should choose a reliable and licensed restaurant when dining out for Poon Choi. A reliable restaurant uses fresh and unexpired ingredients, follows a strict working procedure and observes food hygiene during preparation so as to maintain food taste, quality and safety.

Second, clean. At a restaurant, we should check if their staff keep the restaurant clean and pay attention to personal hygiene. As customers, we should wash hands thoroughly with liquid soap and warm water before enjoying Poon Choi and after going to the toilets.

Third, separate. A well-managed restaurant would take precautions against cross-contamination between raw and cooked foods. They are stored in separate refrigerators in some restaurants. As Poon Choi is pre-cooked food, it should be kept separate from raw food.

Fourth, cook. Restaurants are obliged to make sure that ingredients used are cooked thoroughly before Poon Choi is served to customers. Undercooked ingredients will contaminate cooked ones in the basin and can cause food poisoning. If there are undercooked ingredients (e.g. meat with red juices), do not consume them.

Lastly, safe temperature. As most of the ingredients used are pre-cooked, Poon Choi usually needs reheating before consumption. With a great variety of ingredients used, Poon Choi should be reheated with the core temperature of all ingredients reaching at least 75 ℃ . If ingredients in Poon Choi are not hot enough or are heated unevenly, you should reflect this to the staff at the restaurant immediately and ask them to reheat it again.

For the sake of good health, always bear in mind a balanced diet without overindulging and the above 5 Keys to Food Safety when enjoying Chinese New Year celebrations with relatives and friends.