Food Safety Tips for Bringing Home Leftovers - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Food Safety Tips for Bringing Home Leftovers

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Many people take home food left over from eating out. However, there are rules about what is the safe way to deal with that food.

Refrigerate food within two hours of cooking or being served at a restaurant. Food that has been held at unsafe temperatures for longer than that may become contaminated with harmful bacteria. Discard any food left out longer than two hours.

Put leftovers in air-tight container, remove from paper bags.

There is a limit to how long food can be kept safely. The four day refrigerator guideline is a great general rule, but some foods may have a shorter or longer time for storage. When in doubt, throw it out!

Label and date storage containers. Label your leftover storage containers with the product name and the either date the food was made or a throw away date. This is a great way to know how old food is.

Never taste a food to determine if it is safe.

Reheating Leftovers:

Reheat leftovers thoroughly on stove or in the microwave to a temperature of 165⁰F or until hot and steamy. Bring soups, sauces and gravies to a rolling boil.

When using a microwave to reheat leftovers, use a container that is labeled microwave safe.  Frozen foods can go directly into the microwave.

Freezing Leftovers

Use freezer containers or wrap in moisture/vapor-resistant material when freezing leftovers.

Not all leftovers freeze well. Avoid freezing: hard-cooked egg whites (toughens them), lettuce and cabbage (becomes limp), mayonnaise (separates), cream fillings, puddings, custard, gelatin salads and cheese.

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