December 18, 2015, by Lindsay Brooke

At 46 years-old is a Christmas pudding still edible?

A 46 year-old Christmas pudding is to go under the microscope to find out if it really would be good enough and safe enough to eat.

Discovered by a family clearing out the home of their late relative the Christmas pudding was brought into the Microbiology Investigation Centre (MIC) in the School of Biosciences at Sutton Bonington yesterday.



The pudding was made in 1969 and has only recently been removed from where it has been hanging from the ceiling in the kitchen.

Because of the Christmas break the microbiology work won’t take place until after the holidays – but what’s another few days when it has been waiting for 46 years?!




Prof Christine Dodd said: “We would have liked to test the pudding before Christmas but the results will not be ready in time. This Christmas pudding was made to celebrate a family marriage 46 years ago (1969) and has been sealed in a traditional way and looks fine.”

Traditional recipes would have included ingredients like 1½ lb beef suet, 2lb breadcrumbs, and 3½ lb dried fruit and of course ¼ pint brandy, a recipe Mary Berry would be proud of because you just put all the ingredients in a large bowl, stir, make a wish and then steam for hours on end!

The microbiology work will look for bacteria, yeasts and moulds and specifically microorganisms that might make toxins and make you ill.

The pudding was delivered with the following advice: “Oh and don’t forget there might be a silver sixpence in there! Probably best not to microwave! Good luck with your tests and a merry Christmas to all – we look forward to hearing whether we should have served them on Christmas Day!”




Posted in BiosciencesScienceStaff