Many people in the Republic of Ireland have had issues with under or overcooking turkey during Christmas, according to a survey.

The research, commissioned by safefood, found 15 percent of Irish people have had such issues. Undercooking was the problem for 6 percent, with 9 percent overcooking their turkeys.

More than one in four — 27 percent — of people in the Republic of Ireland have experienced what the group called a “Christmas cooking disaster.” Research also showed that forgetting to turn on the oven or defrost the turkey were two causes of things going wrong on Christmas Day, at 7 percent and 4 percent, respectively, of people reporting such errors.

Safefood promotes awareness and knowledge of food safety issues on the island of Ireland. Findings are from a study conducted from Nov. 21-29 this year as part of the iReach Consumer Nationwide Omnibus survey with 1,001 responses on a nationally representative basis.

Almost 1 million turkeys are prepared and cooked in the country on Christmas Day.

Dr. Linda Gordon, chief specialist of food science at safefood, said turkey often takes center stage during Christmas dinner.

“But it can be an overwhelming experience for some, especially if you haven’t cooked it before or aren’t used to cooking for big groups. Planning ahead is the best way to stay on top of things in the Christmas kitchen,” she said.

“Last year, over 80,000 people visited the safefood website between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, with the most popular searches including: how to defrost a turkey; where to store it; cooking times; whether to stuff it or not; and how to know when it’s properly cooked.”

The safefood website includes resources such as a turkey cooking-time-calculator, how-to videos and Christmas recipes.

Chef Adrian Martin, who is supporting the campaign, said Christmas Day is one of the most enjoyable times of year.

“However, it can be stressful to prepare a safe, tasty and nutritious meal for a large group of family and relations. It’s important that proper food hygiene practices are followed to ensure no one gets sick. My top tip is to have a plan on the run up to Christmas.”

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)