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How to Safely Store and Reheat Leftovers

How to Safely Store and Reheat Leftovers

Learn how to safely store and reheat leftovers from the Green and Clean Mom, Sommer Poquette

Everyone eats, drinks and they’re merry — and then, just like that, it’s over and you’re left with trays of food.

Baking and cooking for others can be overwhelming: You spend so much time searching for the perfect recipes — raiding your recipe box and scouring the internet. Everyone eats, drinks and they’re merry — and then, just like that, it’s over and you’re left with trays of food.

How long can you store the beef tenderloin? Should you just throw the chip dip out? How about the cookies? Can they go in the freezer, and if so, for how long? It would be a serious shame to waste any of your hard work, but the good news is that leftovers can provide some delicious, easy meals.

Here’s what you should know about properly storing them so you can keep on enjoying the fruits of your labor long after your special dinner.

Food Safety Tips to Keep in Mind When Storing Leftovers:

  • When you’re making your shopping list and checking it twice, add storage bags and plenty of airtight containers — you will need them for leftovers! Pack leftovers in bags and containers of various sizes and send them home with guests.
  • Clean out your fridge and freezer the week before the craziness. Try to use up the food you already have before shopping again, then give the fridge a good scrubbing so that it’s ready to be packed full of leftovers.
  • Store all food in the fridge or freezer within two hours of cooking.
  • Any dips, including salsa and guacamole, that have been sitting out for more than two hours should be thrown out. Dips with dairy, cheese, or raw produce are susceptible to dangerous bacteria growth when exposed to the air for long periods of time.
  • Foods that have been touched or handled by many people, like the chips in the community chip bowl, should be tossed.
  • Wash your hands with hot soap and water before you begin storing food.

How to Safely Store Leftovers:

  • Begin with airtight packaging and wrapping. This is key as airtight containers will stop bacteria from getting in and to prevent the food from taking on any odors you might have in the fridge.
  • According to the USDA, you can safely store your leftovers in the fridge for three to four days. In the freezer, they’re good for three to four months.
  • Store food in shallow containers — about three inches tall or less. This allows the food to cool quickly and prevents dangerous bacteria growth.
  • Label all leftovers with a “throw away” date.
  • If there is only a little bit of leftover food, consider saving it and using it for another recipe instead of throwing it away.
  • Download this free tip sheet on what not to freeze and quick freezing tips. It’s a handy guide to hang on your fridge.

How to Reheat Your Leftovers:

  • When you reheat leftovers from the fridge, only heat the food you will actually be eating — not the entire container.
  • Make sure whatever you reheat is warmed evenly. If you are using an oven or stovetop, use a thermometer to ensure that your leftovers are heated to 165 degrees. If you use a microwave, turn the plate often to make sure your food is heated evenly. Always cover food when warming it to help retain the moisture and flavor.
  • If you reheat food from the freezer, it is not necessary to thaw it first. However, you can thaw frozen food in the fridge overnight and then cook it the next day for a faster heating time.
  • If your food smells funky, toss it. It’s not worth taking the risk of getting sick. “When in doubt, throw it out!”

Bonus! Here’s a great recipe to use up those leftover mashed sweet potatoes sitting in your fridge:

Leftover Sweet Potato Waffles

This is the perfect recipe for small amounts of leftovers that aren’t enough to reheat for a meal or freeze. It’s also great for the morning after the meal topped with an egg.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of leftover mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Instructions:

Combine all of your dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

In a small bowl, mix all wet ingredients, except the mashed sweet potatoes.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until all of the lumps are removed.

Add sweet potato mush to the waffle mix and gently fold in until it is all combined. (Try not to over-whisk.)

Spray your waffle maker with non-stick cooking spray.

Add batter to the waffle maker and cook until lightly brown.

Sommer Poquette of Green and Clean Mom writes on green choices and lifestyle topics, including food storage, recipes, and energy-saving refrigerators. Visit The Home Depot to see a wide selection of refrigerator options that make it easy to store your holiday leftovers.


Cooking with Paul: How to handle and reheat leftover food safely to avoid food poisoning

If you reheat a big pot of food like our Simple and Easy Chicken and Dumplings from this week's Taste centerpiece, make sure it comes to a temperature of at least 165 degrees.

Every week, Express-News Taste writer Paul Stephen cooks several recipes for his job &mdash often creating his own in the process. Cooking with Paul chronicles what he learned each week from that process. Enjoy!

If your fridge is anything like mine right now there&rsquos a hodgepodge of leftovers jockeying for precious shelf space. Takeout containers from area restaurants, pots full of soups and stews from this week&rsquos Taste centerpiece on big batch cooking, that stockpile of eggs. Oh, and never mind that corner dedicated to adult beverages. Priorities.

But here&rsquos the thing about leftovers &mdash and something my editor, Emily Spicer, pointed out to me this week. Handle those things with care, folks. Food poisoning is real and it&rsquos the last thing anyone needs to be worrying about during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has shockingly detailed guidance on the best practices to keep you and your family safe when it comes to storing and reheating leftovers.

For starters, temperature is everything. The longer your food spends at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees, the more chance bacteria and other nasties have to populate that pot roast or pasta salad.

The USDA recommends refrigerating everything within two hours of preparing. If it&rsquos sat out longer than that &mdash or for one hour if it&rsquos above 90 degrees during your backyard cookout &mdash they say to toss it out. And as tempting as it may be to nosh on that week-old roast chicken, the USDA says leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of three to four days. Put it in the freezer if it&rsquoll go any longer than that.

If you do store a pot of stew in the fridge, you can reheat it safely on the stove or in the oven, but with one caveat: you have to bring that sucker up to 165 degrees every time. If it&rsquos a soupy or saucy thing you&rsquore reheating and you don&rsquot have a thermometer, bring it to a boil to be safe. To be even safer, just reheat the portion you will eat, instead of the whole pot, and bring it to 165 degrees.

Of course, you can also reheat fopd in the microwave, but again, it needs to come up to 165 degrees. The USDA says add a little moisture if necessary, because a hot and steamy environment is bad news for microbes. Rotate the dish a few times if your microwave doesn&rsquot have a turntable and check the temperature in a few spots for that 165 degree mark as things can reheat unevenly in the nuke.

Lastly, if you&rsquore thawing out frozen leftovers, don&rsquot plop it on the counter and wait. The refrigerator is the slowest but safest place to thaw, or you can place packaged food in a sink full of cold water. If you thaw in the microwave, they advise letting it cook until that 165-degree point is hit.


Cooking with Paul: How to handle and reheat leftover food safely to avoid food poisoning

If you reheat a big pot of food like our Simple and Easy Chicken and Dumplings from this week's Taste centerpiece, make sure it comes to a temperature of at least 165 degrees.

Every week, Express-News Taste writer Paul Stephen cooks several recipes for his job &mdash often creating his own in the process. Cooking with Paul chronicles what he learned each week from that process. Enjoy!

If your fridge is anything like mine right now there&rsquos a hodgepodge of leftovers jockeying for precious shelf space. Takeout containers from area restaurants, pots full of soups and stews from this week&rsquos Taste centerpiece on big batch cooking, that stockpile of eggs. Oh, and never mind that corner dedicated to adult beverages. Priorities.

But here&rsquos the thing about leftovers &mdash and something my editor, Emily Spicer, pointed out to me this week. Handle those things with care, folks. Food poisoning is real and it&rsquos the last thing anyone needs to be worrying about during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has shockingly detailed guidance on the best practices to keep you and your family safe when it comes to storing and reheating leftovers.

For starters, temperature is everything. The longer your food spends at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees, the more chance bacteria and other nasties have to populate that pot roast or pasta salad.

The USDA recommends refrigerating everything within two hours of preparing. If it&rsquos sat out longer than that &mdash or for one hour if it&rsquos above 90 degrees during your backyard cookout &mdash they say to toss it out. And as tempting as it may be to nosh on that week-old roast chicken, the USDA says leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of three to four days. Put it in the freezer if it&rsquoll go any longer than that.

If you do store a pot of stew in the fridge, you can reheat it safely on the stove or in the oven, but with one caveat: you have to bring that sucker up to 165 degrees every time. If it&rsquos a soupy or saucy thing you&rsquore reheating and you don&rsquot have a thermometer, bring it to a boil to be safe. To be even safer, just reheat the portion you will eat, instead of the whole pot, and bring it to 165 degrees.

Of course, you can also reheat fopd in the microwave, but again, it needs to come up to 165 degrees. The USDA says add a little moisture if necessary, because a hot and steamy environment is bad news for microbes. Rotate the dish a few times if your microwave doesn&rsquot have a turntable and check the temperature in a few spots for that 165 degree mark as things can reheat unevenly in the nuke.

Lastly, if you&rsquore thawing out frozen leftovers, don&rsquot plop it on the counter and wait. The refrigerator is the slowest but safest place to thaw, or you can place packaged food in a sink full of cold water. If you thaw in the microwave, they advise letting it cook until that 165-degree point is hit.


Cooking with Paul: How to handle and reheat leftover food safely to avoid food poisoning

If you reheat a big pot of food like our Simple and Easy Chicken and Dumplings from this week's Taste centerpiece, make sure it comes to a temperature of at least 165 degrees.

Every week, Express-News Taste writer Paul Stephen cooks several recipes for his job &mdash often creating his own in the process. Cooking with Paul chronicles what he learned each week from that process. Enjoy!

If your fridge is anything like mine right now there&rsquos a hodgepodge of leftovers jockeying for precious shelf space. Takeout containers from area restaurants, pots full of soups and stews from this week&rsquos Taste centerpiece on big batch cooking, that stockpile of eggs. Oh, and never mind that corner dedicated to adult beverages. Priorities.

But here&rsquos the thing about leftovers &mdash and something my editor, Emily Spicer, pointed out to me this week. Handle those things with care, folks. Food poisoning is real and it&rsquos the last thing anyone needs to be worrying about during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has shockingly detailed guidance on the best practices to keep you and your family safe when it comes to storing and reheating leftovers.

For starters, temperature is everything. The longer your food spends at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees, the more chance bacteria and other nasties have to populate that pot roast or pasta salad.

The USDA recommends refrigerating everything within two hours of preparing. If it&rsquos sat out longer than that &mdash or for one hour if it&rsquos above 90 degrees during your backyard cookout &mdash they say to toss it out. And as tempting as it may be to nosh on that week-old roast chicken, the USDA says leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of three to four days. Put it in the freezer if it&rsquoll go any longer than that.

If you do store a pot of stew in the fridge, you can reheat it safely on the stove or in the oven, but with one caveat: you have to bring that sucker up to 165 degrees every time. If it&rsquos a soupy or saucy thing you&rsquore reheating and you don&rsquot have a thermometer, bring it to a boil to be safe. To be even safer, just reheat the portion you will eat, instead of the whole pot, and bring it to 165 degrees.

Of course, you can also reheat fopd in the microwave, but again, it needs to come up to 165 degrees. The USDA says add a little moisture if necessary, because a hot and steamy environment is bad news for microbes. Rotate the dish a few times if your microwave doesn&rsquot have a turntable and check the temperature in a few spots for that 165 degree mark as things can reheat unevenly in the nuke.

Lastly, if you&rsquore thawing out frozen leftovers, don&rsquot plop it on the counter and wait. The refrigerator is the slowest but safest place to thaw, or you can place packaged food in a sink full of cold water. If you thaw in the microwave, they advise letting it cook until that 165-degree point is hit.


Cooking with Paul: How to handle and reheat leftover food safely to avoid food poisoning

If you reheat a big pot of food like our Simple and Easy Chicken and Dumplings from this week's Taste centerpiece, make sure it comes to a temperature of at least 165 degrees.

Every week, Express-News Taste writer Paul Stephen cooks several recipes for his job &mdash often creating his own in the process. Cooking with Paul chronicles what he learned each week from that process. Enjoy!

If your fridge is anything like mine right now there&rsquos a hodgepodge of leftovers jockeying for precious shelf space. Takeout containers from area restaurants, pots full of soups and stews from this week&rsquos Taste centerpiece on big batch cooking, that stockpile of eggs. Oh, and never mind that corner dedicated to adult beverages. Priorities.

But here&rsquos the thing about leftovers &mdash and something my editor, Emily Spicer, pointed out to me this week. Handle those things with care, folks. Food poisoning is real and it&rsquos the last thing anyone needs to be worrying about during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has shockingly detailed guidance on the best practices to keep you and your family safe when it comes to storing and reheating leftovers.

For starters, temperature is everything. The longer your food spends at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees, the more chance bacteria and other nasties have to populate that pot roast or pasta salad.

The USDA recommends refrigerating everything within two hours of preparing. If it&rsquos sat out longer than that &mdash or for one hour if it&rsquos above 90 degrees during your backyard cookout &mdash they say to toss it out. And as tempting as it may be to nosh on that week-old roast chicken, the USDA says leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of three to four days. Put it in the freezer if it&rsquoll go any longer than that.

If you do store a pot of stew in the fridge, you can reheat it safely on the stove or in the oven, but with one caveat: you have to bring that sucker up to 165 degrees every time. If it&rsquos a soupy or saucy thing you&rsquore reheating and you don&rsquot have a thermometer, bring it to a boil to be safe. To be even safer, just reheat the portion you will eat, instead of the whole pot, and bring it to 165 degrees.

Of course, you can also reheat fopd in the microwave, but again, it needs to come up to 165 degrees. The USDA says add a little moisture if necessary, because a hot and steamy environment is bad news for microbes. Rotate the dish a few times if your microwave doesn&rsquot have a turntable and check the temperature in a few spots for that 165 degree mark as things can reheat unevenly in the nuke.

Lastly, if you&rsquore thawing out frozen leftovers, don&rsquot plop it on the counter and wait. The refrigerator is the slowest but safest place to thaw, or you can place packaged food in a sink full of cold water. If you thaw in the microwave, they advise letting it cook until that 165-degree point is hit.


Cooking with Paul: How to handle and reheat leftover food safely to avoid food poisoning

If you reheat a big pot of food like our Simple and Easy Chicken and Dumplings from this week's Taste centerpiece, make sure it comes to a temperature of at least 165 degrees.

Every week, Express-News Taste writer Paul Stephen cooks several recipes for his job &mdash often creating his own in the process. Cooking with Paul chronicles what he learned each week from that process. Enjoy!

If your fridge is anything like mine right now there&rsquos a hodgepodge of leftovers jockeying for precious shelf space. Takeout containers from area restaurants, pots full of soups and stews from this week&rsquos Taste centerpiece on big batch cooking, that stockpile of eggs. Oh, and never mind that corner dedicated to adult beverages. Priorities.

But here&rsquos the thing about leftovers &mdash and something my editor, Emily Spicer, pointed out to me this week. Handle those things with care, folks. Food poisoning is real and it&rsquos the last thing anyone needs to be worrying about during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has shockingly detailed guidance on the best practices to keep you and your family safe when it comes to storing and reheating leftovers.

For starters, temperature is everything. The longer your food spends at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees, the more chance bacteria and other nasties have to populate that pot roast or pasta salad.

The USDA recommends refrigerating everything within two hours of preparing. If it&rsquos sat out longer than that &mdash or for one hour if it&rsquos above 90 degrees during your backyard cookout &mdash they say to toss it out. And as tempting as it may be to nosh on that week-old roast chicken, the USDA says leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of three to four days. Put it in the freezer if it&rsquoll go any longer than that.

If you do store a pot of stew in the fridge, you can reheat it safely on the stove or in the oven, but with one caveat: you have to bring that sucker up to 165 degrees every time. If it&rsquos a soupy or saucy thing you&rsquore reheating and you don&rsquot have a thermometer, bring it to a boil to be safe. To be even safer, just reheat the portion you will eat, instead of the whole pot, and bring it to 165 degrees.

Of course, you can also reheat fopd in the microwave, but again, it needs to come up to 165 degrees. The USDA says add a little moisture if necessary, because a hot and steamy environment is bad news for microbes. Rotate the dish a few times if your microwave doesn&rsquot have a turntable and check the temperature in a few spots for that 165 degree mark as things can reheat unevenly in the nuke.

Lastly, if you&rsquore thawing out frozen leftovers, don&rsquot plop it on the counter and wait. The refrigerator is the slowest but safest place to thaw, or you can place packaged food in a sink full of cold water. If you thaw in the microwave, they advise letting it cook until that 165-degree point is hit.


Cooking with Paul: How to handle and reheat leftover food safely to avoid food poisoning

If you reheat a big pot of food like our Simple and Easy Chicken and Dumplings from this week's Taste centerpiece, make sure it comes to a temperature of at least 165 degrees.

Every week, Express-News Taste writer Paul Stephen cooks several recipes for his job &mdash often creating his own in the process. Cooking with Paul chronicles what he learned each week from that process. Enjoy!

If your fridge is anything like mine right now there&rsquos a hodgepodge of leftovers jockeying for precious shelf space. Takeout containers from area restaurants, pots full of soups and stews from this week&rsquos Taste centerpiece on big batch cooking, that stockpile of eggs. Oh, and never mind that corner dedicated to adult beverages. Priorities.

But here&rsquos the thing about leftovers &mdash and something my editor, Emily Spicer, pointed out to me this week. Handle those things with care, folks. Food poisoning is real and it&rsquos the last thing anyone needs to be worrying about during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has shockingly detailed guidance on the best practices to keep you and your family safe when it comes to storing and reheating leftovers.

For starters, temperature is everything. The longer your food spends at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees, the more chance bacteria and other nasties have to populate that pot roast or pasta salad.

The USDA recommends refrigerating everything within two hours of preparing. If it&rsquos sat out longer than that &mdash or for one hour if it&rsquos above 90 degrees during your backyard cookout &mdash they say to toss it out. And as tempting as it may be to nosh on that week-old roast chicken, the USDA says leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of three to four days. Put it in the freezer if it&rsquoll go any longer than that.

If you do store a pot of stew in the fridge, you can reheat it safely on the stove or in the oven, but with one caveat: you have to bring that sucker up to 165 degrees every time. If it&rsquos a soupy or saucy thing you&rsquore reheating and you don&rsquot have a thermometer, bring it to a boil to be safe. To be even safer, just reheat the portion you will eat, instead of the whole pot, and bring it to 165 degrees.

Of course, you can also reheat fopd in the microwave, but again, it needs to come up to 165 degrees. The USDA says add a little moisture if necessary, because a hot and steamy environment is bad news for microbes. Rotate the dish a few times if your microwave doesn&rsquot have a turntable and check the temperature in a few spots for that 165 degree mark as things can reheat unevenly in the nuke.

Lastly, if you&rsquore thawing out frozen leftovers, don&rsquot plop it on the counter and wait. The refrigerator is the slowest but safest place to thaw, or you can place packaged food in a sink full of cold water. If you thaw in the microwave, they advise letting it cook until that 165-degree point is hit.


Cooking with Paul: How to handle and reheat leftover food safely to avoid food poisoning

If you reheat a big pot of food like our Simple and Easy Chicken and Dumplings from this week's Taste centerpiece, make sure it comes to a temperature of at least 165 degrees.

Every week, Express-News Taste writer Paul Stephen cooks several recipes for his job &mdash often creating his own in the process. Cooking with Paul chronicles what he learned each week from that process. Enjoy!

If your fridge is anything like mine right now there&rsquos a hodgepodge of leftovers jockeying for precious shelf space. Takeout containers from area restaurants, pots full of soups and stews from this week&rsquos Taste centerpiece on big batch cooking, that stockpile of eggs. Oh, and never mind that corner dedicated to adult beverages. Priorities.

But here&rsquos the thing about leftovers &mdash and something my editor, Emily Spicer, pointed out to me this week. Handle those things with care, folks. Food poisoning is real and it&rsquos the last thing anyone needs to be worrying about during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has shockingly detailed guidance on the best practices to keep you and your family safe when it comes to storing and reheating leftovers.

For starters, temperature is everything. The longer your food spends at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees, the more chance bacteria and other nasties have to populate that pot roast or pasta salad.

The USDA recommends refrigerating everything within two hours of preparing. If it&rsquos sat out longer than that &mdash or for one hour if it&rsquos above 90 degrees during your backyard cookout &mdash they say to toss it out. And as tempting as it may be to nosh on that week-old roast chicken, the USDA says leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of three to four days. Put it in the freezer if it&rsquoll go any longer than that.

If you do store a pot of stew in the fridge, you can reheat it safely on the stove or in the oven, but with one caveat: you have to bring that sucker up to 165 degrees every time. If it&rsquos a soupy or saucy thing you&rsquore reheating and you don&rsquot have a thermometer, bring it to a boil to be safe. To be even safer, just reheat the portion you will eat, instead of the whole pot, and bring it to 165 degrees.

Of course, you can also reheat fopd in the microwave, but again, it needs to come up to 165 degrees. The USDA says add a little moisture if necessary, because a hot and steamy environment is bad news for microbes. Rotate the dish a few times if your microwave doesn&rsquot have a turntable and check the temperature in a few spots for that 165 degree mark as things can reheat unevenly in the nuke.

Lastly, if you&rsquore thawing out frozen leftovers, don&rsquot plop it on the counter and wait. The refrigerator is the slowest but safest place to thaw, or you can place packaged food in a sink full of cold water. If you thaw in the microwave, they advise letting it cook until that 165-degree point is hit.


Cooking with Paul: How to handle and reheat leftover food safely to avoid food poisoning

If you reheat a big pot of food like our Simple and Easy Chicken and Dumplings from this week's Taste centerpiece, make sure it comes to a temperature of at least 165 degrees.

Every week, Express-News Taste writer Paul Stephen cooks several recipes for his job &mdash often creating his own in the process. Cooking with Paul chronicles what he learned each week from that process. Enjoy!

If your fridge is anything like mine right now there&rsquos a hodgepodge of leftovers jockeying for precious shelf space. Takeout containers from area restaurants, pots full of soups and stews from this week&rsquos Taste centerpiece on big batch cooking, that stockpile of eggs. Oh, and never mind that corner dedicated to adult beverages. Priorities.

But here&rsquos the thing about leftovers &mdash and something my editor, Emily Spicer, pointed out to me this week. Handle those things with care, folks. Food poisoning is real and it&rsquos the last thing anyone needs to be worrying about during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has shockingly detailed guidance on the best practices to keep you and your family safe when it comes to storing and reheating leftovers.

For starters, temperature is everything. The longer your food spends at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees, the more chance bacteria and other nasties have to populate that pot roast or pasta salad.

The USDA recommends refrigerating everything within two hours of preparing. If it&rsquos sat out longer than that &mdash or for one hour if it&rsquos above 90 degrees during your backyard cookout &mdash they say to toss it out. And as tempting as it may be to nosh on that week-old roast chicken, the USDA says leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of three to four days. Put it in the freezer if it&rsquoll go any longer than that.

If you do store a pot of stew in the fridge, you can reheat it safely on the stove or in the oven, but with one caveat: you have to bring that sucker up to 165 degrees every time. If it&rsquos a soupy or saucy thing you&rsquore reheating and you don&rsquot have a thermometer, bring it to a boil to be safe. To be even safer, just reheat the portion you will eat, instead of the whole pot, and bring it to 165 degrees.

Of course, you can also reheat fopd in the microwave, but again, it needs to come up to 165 degrees. The USDA says add a little moisture if necessary, because a hot and steamy environment is bad news for microbes. Rotate the dish a few times if your microwave doesn&rsquot have a turntable and check the temperature in a few spots for that 165 degree mark as things can reheat unevenly in the nuke.

Lastly, if you&rsquore thawing out frozen leftovers, don&rsquot plop it on the counter and wait. The refrigerator is the slowest but safest place to thaw, or you can place packaged food in a sink full of cold water. If you thaw in the microwave, they advise letting it cook until that 165-degree point is hit.


Cooking with Paul: How to handle and reheat leftover food safely to avoid food poisoning

If you reheat a big pot of food like our Simple and Easy Chicken and Dumplings from this week's Taste centerpiece, make sure it comes to a temperature of at least 165 degrees.

Every week, Express-News Taste writer Paul Stephen cooks several recipes for his job &mdash often creating his own in the process. Cooking with Paul chronicles what he learned each week from that process. Enjoy!

If your fridge is anything like mine right now there&rsquos a hodgepodge of leftovers jockeying for precious shelf space. Takeout containers from area restaurants, pots full of soups and stews from this week&rsquos Taste centerpiece on big batch cooking, that stockpile of eggs. Oh, and never mind that corner dedicated to adult beverages. Priorities.

But here&rsquos the thing about leftovers &mdash and something my editor, Emily Spicer, pointed out to me this week. Handle those things with care, folks. Food poisoning is real and it&rsquos the last thing anyone needs to be worrying about during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has shockingly detailed guidance on the best practices to keep you and your family safe when it comes to storing and reheating leftovers.

For starters, temperature is everything. The longer your food spends at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees, the more chance bacteria and other nasties have to populate that pot roast or pasta salad.

The USDA recommends refrigerating everything within two hours of preparing. If it&rsquos sat out longer than that &mdash or for one hour if it&rsquos above 90 degrees during your backyard cookout &mdash they say to toss it out. And as tempting as it may be to nosh on that week-old roast chicken, the USDA says leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of three to four days. Put it in the freezer if it&rsquoll go any longer than that.

If you do store a pot of stew in the fridge, you can reheat it safely on the stove or in the oven, but with one caveat: you have to bring that sucker up to 165 degrees every time. If it&rsquos a soupy or saucy thing you&rsquore reheating and you don&rsquot have a thermometer, bring it to a boil to be safe. To be even safer, just reheat the portion you will eat, instead of the whole pot, and bring it to 165 degrees.

Of course, you can also reheat fopd in the microwave, but again, it needs to come up to 165 degrees. The USDA says add a little moisture if necessary, because a hot and steamy environment is bad news for microbes. Rotate the dish a few times if your microwave doesn&rsquot have a turntable and check the temperature in a few spots for that 165 degree mark as things can reheat unevenly in the nuke.

Lastly, if you&rsquore thawing out frozen leftovers, don&rsquot plop it on the counter and wait. The refrigerator is the slowest but safest place to thaw, or you can place packaged food in a sink full of cold water. If you thaw in the microwave, they advise letting it cook until that 165-degree point is hit.


Cooking with Paul: How to handle and reheat leftover food safely to avoid food poisoning

If you reheat a big pot of food like our Simple and Easy Chicken and Dumplings from this week's Taste centerpiece, make sure it comes to a temperature of at least 165 degrees.

Every week, Express-News Taste writer Paul Stephen cooks several recipes for his job &mdash often creating his own in the process. Cooking with Paul chronicles what he learned each week from that process. Enjoy!

If your fridge is anything like mine right now there&rsquos a hodgepodge of leftovers jockeying for precious shelf space. Takeout containers from area restaurants, pots full of soups and stews from this week&rsquos Taste centerpiece on big batch cooking, that stockpile of eggs. Oh, and never mind that corner dedicated to adult beverages. Priorities.

But here&rsquos the thing about leftovers &mdash and something my editor, Emily Spicer, pointed out to me this week. Handle those things with care, folks. Food poisoning is real and it&rsquos the last thing anyone needs to be worrying about during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has shockingly detailed guidance on the best practices to keep you and your family safe when it comes to storing and reheating leftovers.

For starters, temperature is everything. The longer your food spends at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees, the more chance bacteria and other nasties have to populate that pot roast or pasta salad.

The USDA recommends refrigerating everything within two hours of preparing. If it&rsquos sat out longer than that &mdash or for one hour if it&rsquos above 90 degrees during your backyard cookout &mdash they say to toss it out. And as tempting as it may be to nosh on that week-old roast chicken, the USDA says leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of three to four days. Put it in the freezer if it&rsquoll go any longer than that.

If you do store a pot of stew in the fridge, you can reheat it safely on the stove or in the oven, but with one caveat: you have to bring that sucker up to 165 degrees every time. If it&rsquos a soupy or saucy thing you&rsquore reheating and you don&rsquot have a thermometer, bring it to a boil to be safe. To be even safer, just reheat the portion you will eat, instead of the whole pot, and bring it to 165 degrees.

Of course, you can also reheat fopd in the microwave, but again, it needs to come up to 165 degrees. The USDA says add a little moisture if necessary, because a hot and steamy environment is bad news for microbes. Rotate the dish a few times if your microwave doesn&rsquot have a turntable and check the temperature in a few spots for that 165 degree mark as things can reheat unevenly in the nuke.

Lastly, if you&rsquore thawing out frozen leftovers, don&rsquot plop it on the counter and wait. The refrigerator is the slowest but safest place to thaw, or you can place packaged food in a sink full of cold water. If you thaw in the microwave, they advise letting it cook until that 165-degree point is hit.


Watch the video: Πώς να αποθηκεύσετε ένα βίντεο στον υπολογιστή σας (November 2021).