With Christmas just around the corner, you may be wondering what to do with your leftovers after the big day. There are many benefits that come along with saving your leftovers.
To begin with, saving food for use at a later date can help to prevent overeating and related complications. It can help avoid waste and save your family money. What’s more, it gives you the opportunity to enjoy some truly tasty food once again the next day.
However, it’s important to remember that food safety standards need to be applied here just as they would be to any other area related to food. Here’s how to make sure you handle your leftovers safely and securely in order to prevent illness and cross-contamination.
Know When to Refrigerate
Sometimes knowing when the right time to refrigerate leftovers is can present a challenge. Food should be allowed to cool to the point where steam is no longer coming from it in order to assure safe refrigeration. However, it should not be left out for longer than two hours under normal circumstances. If you’re dealing with food that was cooked or consumed outdoors in hot temperatures, refrigerate it within one hour.
Storing leftovers is also an important part of food safety procedure. Always seal food properly in airtight containers that are clean. If you are looking to store away large quantities of food items like stew or homemade soup, separate it into several smaller, shallower containers to allow it to cool more quickly and evenly.
Safe Reheating Procedure
When reheating leftovers, it is important to do so thoroughly in order to make sure bacteria growth isn’t encouraged after reheating. If reheating in a microwave, take steps to make sure the food is reheated evenly. Cold spots can easily breed harmful bacteria and make you sick. Use a cover when heating your items. Stir or rotate food halfway through cooking to ensure even cooking.