Keeping Leftovers Safe
As hard as you may try to portion your foods there will always be some leftovers. And with the hard economic times and the desire to eat the delicious food at some other time, you cannot afford to throw away the leftovers. However, if you do not store the food safely it will not be suitable for consumption later, and it might even lead to things such as food poisoning. Storing the extra food should not be hectic, and the following five tips for keeping leftovers safe will make it easier for you.
1. Vacuum Seal the Food
Vacuum sealing will keep your food for up to five times longer than other methods, and this makes it the most efficient way to preserve leftovers. There are many types of vacuum sealers currently available on the market, and they are also not very expensive, and so you can easily find one that will work for you. However, it is also important to follow the vacuum sealing food safety procedures such as cleaning all your utensils before using them to avoid contamination.
2. Do Not Mix Foods
The biggest mistake that most people do when storing leftovers is mixing food from different meals. Even if all the foods are still fresh mixing them will not only change the taste but will also increase the chances of your leftovers going bad. If you are not sealing it with a vacuum sealer, you should, at least, keep every leftover food in a separate container before refrigeration.
3. You Should Not Rely on Your Senses to Determine Food Safety
Most people rely on their nose, eyes and taste buds to determine whether food is safe to consume, but this is not very reliable. The smell of food, its appearance or its taste cannot always help you determine whether food is contaminated. To make sure that your food remains safe for long you should store it in a fridge as soon as possible and also throw away anything that is left out at room temperature for several hours.
4. Always Keep Your Hands Clean
Many people do not remember to wash their hands before handling leftovers. Before you touch anything you should wash your hands thoroughly with soap. You should also wash all the utensils, dishes and the workspace and you may also need to sanitize everything for added protection.
5. Date the Leftovers
All your leftovers should be clearly labeled and even if you do not feel like writing other things like the type of food you should, at least, write the date of storage. Dating helps to ensure that you do not store the food for too long and that you consume the oldest foods first. You should eat refrigerated food within two or three days, but if you wish to keep them for longer, you should freeze them.
Throwing away leftovers should never be an option, but this is only true if you know how to store them safely. And with the above five tips in mind, this will be easier for you. However, the best way to keep your excess food safe for long is by storing it with a vacuum sealer. The other thing to note is that different types of food may call for different methods of storage, and so it is also good to understand this to ensure food safety.