Tuesday, January 19, 2010

An Education on Leftovers


1. How long before I need to refrigerate my leftovers?

Within two hours of purchase or preparation. Be extra careful about getting meat and dairy products into the fridge promptly.

2. How long can I keep refrigerated leftovers?

About three to five days.

3. How do I store leftovers?

Store in airtight, shallow (1- to 2-inch deep) containers to allow adequate circulation of cool air.

4. How long can I keep cooked lean meat and meat dishes?

Three to four days in the refrigerator and two to three months in the freezer. Raw beef can be stored for six months to a year in a freezer set below 0°F.

5. How long can I keep cooked lean poultry and poultry dishes?

Three to four days in the refrigerator and four to six months in the freezer set below 0°F. Raw poultry can be stored for nine months to a year in a freezer set below 0°F.

6. At what temperature should I keep my refrigerator?

40°F.

7. What's the best way to keep track of how long my leftovers have been in the fridge?

Label and date every container, and keep the older containers toward the front of the fridge.

8. What if I'm unsure how long my leftovers will keep?

Check them daily for signs of spoilage, such as an odd odor or color, and be on the lookout for any indication of mold.

9. Can I taste leftovers to see if they are still fresh?

If in doubt, throw it out. Never taste a questionable leftover.

10. What if my refrigerator is too full for everything?

Clean it out, getting rid of old leftover containers or questionable foods. Cold air needs to circulate to keep foods fresh.

Source: South Beach Diet Online

For some great ideas on what to do with leftovers, check out Creative Tips for Leftovers at Busy Moms Tips.

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