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Home Ec: Leftover Safety

The great thing about cooking a big meal is having leftovers. But, it doesn't do any good to have leftovers if you don't deal with the lefovers properly. Food poisoning is no joke. Use this lesson to learn to properly store leftovers.

One proactive way to properly and safely store leftover foods is to plan ahead and make sure your refrigerators stays cleaned out. One, this means there will be room in the refrigerator to properly store the food containers; and, secondly and perhaps even more importantly, this will keep your refrigerator clean and sterile

Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator within 2 hours after cooking is completed. Why just 2 hours? Because bacteria that cause food poisoning can multiply to undesirable levels on perishable foods left at room temperature for longer than that.

Large quantities should be divided into smaller portions and stored in several shallow containers. Food in small amounts will chill faster keeping it safer and fresher.

For the Thanksgiving Holiday: If a large amount of turkey is left, consider freezing some for later use. Do not wait until the turkey has been in the refrigerator for 4 days to freeze it. Freezing will not improve the quality of the turkey. If the turkey is frozen while it is fresh the quality will be better upon defrosting.


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