[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]After big celebrations or even every day meals, you will always end up with leftovers. The instinct, of course, is to store the extra food in the refrigerator. It helps you save money and time since all you have to do is to reheat it.
The question is: How do you deal with leftovers?
After a meal, especially if food is already at room temperature, refrigerate or freeze your leftovers ASAP. If you let it sit out at room temperature for too long, you invite harmful bacteria. If you’re not sure, food should be refrigerated within two hours after you finished cooking it.
If you’re eating outside and to take your leftovers home, choose against it if you can’t get home within the next two hours!
Best Storage Practices
If food is still hot, let it cool down first before refrigerating. Wait until the steam has stopped coming up from the food. To cool food quickly, divide the food into smaller portions and spread out in shallow dishes. Hot food will disrupt the temperature of your refrigerator and push it to work harder, upping your electricity use.
When storing, remember to use only food-safe containers with lids. Make sure that they are made of durable material and cleaned, dried thoroughly. Extra canned goods are best kept in reusable jars.
When In Doubt, Toss it Out
If you don’t know how long food has been in the refrigerator, it would be better for you to toss it out. Here’s a quick guide of how long some food can keep:
- 1-2 Days (Freeze to keep longer): Raw ground meats and stew meats, gravy and meat broth, fresh fish, fresh poultry, fresh seafood
- 3-4 Days: Cooked meat, chicken, seafood, and pizza
- 5 Days: Opened packages of deli meats, fully cooked ham portions, fresh meat steaks, chops, and roasts
There’s also the option for you to use leftovers in meals! Leftover meat and vegetables can be added to soups, egg dishes, or fried rice. Get creative! There’s no need to waste good food. Just keep track of when they went it and when they should go out. EMCOR will be glad to help you pick out a new refrigerator! Visit your local EMCOR store or shop online now.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]