Help is at hand for those of us who never fail to overcook the Christmas turkey - the turkey industry has unveiled new office cooking guidelines that it claims guarantee a moist bird.

Bernard Matthews, Cranberry Foods, Moy Park and Kelly Turkeys have been working with retailers to update official cooking guidelines for whole turkeys and crowns.

The new advice recommends a reduction in temperature from 190c to 180c for conventional ovens, and from 180c to 160c for fan ovens. It also suggests a shorter browning time, with consumers advised to remove the foil from their bird just 25 minutes before the end instead of the 40 minutes recommended under the old guidelines, and a longer resting period after cooking, of 20 to 30 minutes from 15 to 20 minutes.

The recommended cooking times - 20 minutes per kg plus 70 minutes for a turkey under 4kg, and 20 minutes per kg plus 90 minutes for birds over 4kg - remain the same.

The new guidance will be reflected in the on-pack cooking instructions of own-label and branded Christmas turkey products. The British Quality Turkey website will also carry the new instructions, and advisers on the British Turkey Information Service hotline will inform consumers of the new advice.

Bernard Matthews MD Rob Mears said many consumers had traditionally erred on the side of caution but this could lead to their turkeys becoming too dry.

The FSA’s own official advice will not be changed this year.