Between the story of a New England college student going to the hospital in bad shape over eating leftovers and the price of foo lately, there are some food safety tips you need to know. You don’t want to eat anything that will make you sick, and you also don’t want to throw anything out. Follow these tips from the USDA, and you should be golden:
- Leftovers must be refrigerated within two hours of cooking and all perishable foods that have been left at room temperature for more than two hours should be discarded.
- Cold perishable food should be kept at 40 F or below.
- Food should be cooled rapidly to reach the safe refrigerator-storage temperature of 40 F or below and leftovers should be covered and wrapped in airtight packaging.
- Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for three to four days, or frozen for three to four months.
- Frozen leftovers are safe indefinitely, but can lose moisture and flavor when stored.
- It is safe to reheat leftovers without thawing in a saucepan, the microwave or the oven, and food should be used within three to four days after thawing.
- Leftovers should be heated in the microwave until reaching an internal temperature of 165 F, and people should rotate the food for even heating.
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