Tips To Keep In Mind When You Reheat Your Leftovers
From using airtight containers to making sure that the food is in the fridge within a few hours of cooking, there's a list of must-dos and don'ts for reheating leftovers so as to avoid food poisoning and infections.
Leftover food should be kept in airtight containers
- Reheating foods high in protein can cause food poisoning
- Food should be cooled thoroughly before storing in fridge or freezer
- Leftover food should be reheated evenly and piping hot
It is a common tendency to not waste food and use the leftovers for people who are budget-savvy and always falling short of time. However, there are a few things we need to be careful about when it comes to reheating leftovers. From using airtight containers to making sure that the food is in the fridge within a few hours of cooking, there's a list of must-dos and don'ts for reheating leftovers so as to avoid food poisoning and infections. Read below to know some safety tips to reheat your leftovers.
1. Store food properly
One of the very important factors to keep in mind while storing food is cooling it as soon as possible. So, whenever you sense that you're going to end up with surplus food, start cooling the food you don't need quickly. Remember, food should not be kept warm through residual heat. So keep your food away from the heat source. Never leave food outside the fridge for hours, or overnight.
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Also read: How Microwaved Food Can Harm You!
2. Not all foods should be reheated
Reheating foods high in protein are more likely to cause food poisoning. However, the simple rule is to cool leftovers quickly, store properly and eat within the recommended amount of time. But reheating rice is a bit tricky. Cooked rice left at room temperature is unsafe to eat. Ideally, you can cool rice within 1 hour and store in the fridge and eat the leftover within 24 hours. Reheat rice as piping hot before serving.
Also read: 7 Most Common Food Intolerances
Leftovers in the fridge should ideally be eaten within 2 days of their storage. Taking out leftovers from the freezer should be eaten within 24 hours. Also, food needs to be thoroughly defrosted before heating by either using a microwave or keeping them in the fridge for some time. Food should be reheated thoroughly. If you are reheating it in microwave, stir the food halfway so that it gets heated evenly. Also, do not reheat or refreeze more than once as it can increase risks of food poisoning.
4. Cool thoroughly
Before putting food in the fridge or freezer, make sure that the food is cooled thoroughly. Warm food can increase temperature of fridge and give room for bacteria to multiply. Not only does this affect the leftovers, but also the other foods stored in the fridge. Also, make sure that your food is stored in airtight containers. Your leftovers should be well sealed and kept separated from other foods in order to prevent food contamination. If food is leftover in large quantities, it is better to freeze the food as soon as it is cooled.
Photo Credit: iStock