Leftovers and Food Safety

ThinkstockPhotos-506506152The first step in having safe leftovers is to cook the food safely. Cook the food to the proper temperature by using a food thermometer. Bacteria grow rapidly in the temperature danger zone (40°F to 140°F), so be sure your leftovers are safe by following these steps:

  • Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours of cooking or holding it hot.
  • Throw away all cooked food that has been at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • Cool foods rapidly. To do this, large quantities of food should be cut in smaller pieces first or divided into shallow containers that will aid in cooling.
  • Cover leftovers well before refrigerating. This helps keep odors and bacteria out and moisture in.
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 4 months. Although leftovers are safe indefinitely when frozen, quality will deteriorate when stored longer.

For a chart on storage times, visit http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/storagetimes.html.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Words on Wellness

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Categories