We’ve all been there! You cooked too many meals for the week or ordered in too much take out from your favorite restaurants, and now you’re stuck with a refrigerator full of leftovers, leaving you to wonder what is safe to eat and what’s not.
These general guidelines will help you decide what to keep and what to throw away — Chinese take out, we’re looking at you!
- Depending on where you live, you may see your food stamped with “best if used by,” “sell by,” or nothing at all. The most important label is “best if used by,” which helps you get top quality food. The food will be safe by that date and a few days after.
- Keep your refrigerator’s temperature set to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler. Bacteria loves to grow between 40 and 140 degrees!
- Leftovers should be stored in proper containers within 2 hours of cooking or 1 hour on hot summer days. Make sure to seal everything tight with as little air inside as possible.
- Do not overfill your fridge. This can block vents and prevent the proper circulation needed to keep your leftover food items perishable.
- To cool food rapidly and make sure it reaches a proper storage temperature (40 degrees F or below,) divide large portions of leftovers and store them in shallow containers.
- Leftovers should be reheated to 165 degrees F.
- Do not rely on your senses – smell, taste, or sight does not matter when it comes to leftovers! Get rid of any food that has sat in the fridge for more than four days.
Is your refrigerator failing to keep a cold, consistent temperature? The experts at Speedy Sub Zero can fix it – we have been repairing refrigerators and freezers in the tri-state area for over 75 years! No matter the make or model, our licensed technicians have the experience to get the job done, call us anytime to schedule a same-day appointment at 866-782-9376.