Leftovers Don’t Last Forever

leftoversSometimes “leftover night” can be a fun game of take-your-pick for dinner! However, it might not end up so enjoyable if the food is no longer safe to eat. Follow these tips for safe leftovers:

  • Set your refrigerator temperature at 40°F or below. When storing hot foods, store them in shallow containers no more than 2” deep, so that the food cools to 41°F (or lower) quickly.
  • Follow the “4-Day Throw Away” rule: if the leftovers are not eaten on the fourth day after storing, throw them away! Download the 4-day Throw Away app at www.4daythrowaway.org for your smartphone.
  • Leave a pen and sticky notes near the fridge. Label leftovers with the date when you prepared them.
  • Make a “use-up” list. List the leftovers you have in the refrigerator and the freezer. Post it on your fridge. Create meal combinations to use up the leftovers while they are still safe to eat.

Sources: ISU Extension and Outreach Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website, www.extension.iastate.edu/foodsavings

ISU Extension and Outreach Food Safety website, www.extension.iastate.edu/foodsafety

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