Tips for Safely Storing and Processing Leftover Food

Tips for Safely Storing and Processing Leftover Food

Overcooking or deliberately overcooking for more than one meal, makes you need to store excess food. In order to stay healthy, storing and warming food should not be done carelessly. Let's find out how!

Besides being able to save money, storing cooked food for reheating is a practical way that can help you when you are in a hurry. However, you also have to pay attention to several things so that the nutritional content and quality of this leftover food is maintained, and does not trigger disease.

How to Store Leftovers Well

If you want to store, you should store leftovers less than 2 hours after cooking, to avoid bacterial growth on food. Unless the food is kept warm, like a buffet.

In addition, there are several other guidelines that need to be followed to maintain the nutritional content and taste of stored food, including:

Store leftovers in the fridge

Store leftovers in the refrigerator at temperatures below 5°C, to maintain food quality. This temperature is safe for storing food for 3 to 4 days.

Avoid storing leftovers for more than 4 days

If you want to store food for more than 4 days, it is best to put it in the freezer. Frozen food can be stored for up to 3-4 months. However, the longer it is stored, the taste and aroma of food can change.

Label the date on the leftover food packaging

The goal is to identify which food is stored first and when it expires. Place the oldest food in the front.

Prepare a special container for meat and milk

Foods made from meat or containing milk need to be stored in tightly closed containers. At least wrapped in plastic or aluminum foil.

Separate food in several containers

If the food to be stored is large, separate it in several containers. Give space between containers, so that the cold temperature can be spread evenly.

Keep food in small size

Cut large foods, such as whole chickens, into several pieces before storing, to save space in the container.

No less important, you also have to always keep the kitchen clean by cleaning it regularly, including ensuring the cleanliness of the refrigerator as a food storage area.

Safe Ways to Process and Warm Leftover Food
If you have leftovers, you can use them to be processed into other dishes. For example, leftover white rice last night can be processed into fried rice for breakfast. As another example, if you have leftover chopped onions and garlic, or leftover minced meat and sausage, you can add them to an omelet to make an omelette.

This method can also be done on leftover or uneaten fruits. For example, bananas that are too ripe can be processed into banana cake. Overripe avocados can also be made into smoothies, by adding cream. The easiest, you can make juice from the remaining fruits.

Maybe you've ever wondered, is it safe and healthy to warm food that has been stored in the refrigerator? The answer, as long as it is stored and warmed in the right way, the food is safe for consumption.

To avoid food poisoning due to bacterial contamination, it is recommended to warm the food to a temperature of over 70°C evenly. Then keep the food at that temperature, for at least 2 minutes. You can measure the temperature of food using a special food thermometer.

The longest time to warm food is two hours. Because the longer it is exposed to heat, the nutrients in the food will decrease. Microwave is one of the right choices for heating food, because it can warm food in a fairly short time, so that not too many nutrients are lost.

Then can the food that has been stored and warmed be stored again? It's okay, as long as you pay attention to the guidelines above. But instead of leaving leftover food that has been warmed up, it's better to take as many portions as you need for one meal. You can save the rest to warm up next time.

So that there is no leftover food, you can plan the cooking menu before shopping. That way, you can manage how many ingredients you have to buy, as well as how many dishes you have to make. Although it can be stored, of course the food will be more delicious and healthy if consumed not long after cooking.