How to Store Your Leftover Foods, Fruits and Vegetables Safely

How to Store Your Leftover Foods, Fruits and Vegetables Safely?

How to Store Your Leftover Foods, Fruits and Vegetables Safely

After a great party or dinner celebration, deciding what to do with a table full of leftovers may not be at the forefront of your mind, but it's an important part of partying. It's certainly a pity to waste good food, but letting leftovers linger without temperature control can be unsafe.

Any food left out for more than two hours is suspectible to harmful bacterial growth and should be disposed of. This goes for any part of the meal, and it's especially important if your leftovers have been sitting out in the summer heat. This holds true for both cold and hot foods, so be sure to serve foods immediately before mealtime and store anything that's sitting out as soon as the meal is coming to a close.

Bacteria thrive between 5 and 63 degrees Celsius - this is known as the temperature "Danger Zone" for food storage. As soon as the food hits that range, bacteria start growing immediately, it doubles in 20 minutes and so on. so the less time spent in that zone, the safer the food is.

How should you handle what's left?

• Save only the food you know to have been handled safely in the first place, and which hasn't been tainted by double-dipping or by lots of hands picking at it. If it's been sitting out uncovered in your backyard, get rid of it.

How to Store Your Leftover Foods, Fruits and Vegetables Safely

• Be honest in assessing what you are likely to eat over the next three or four days. While no one likes throwing away food, it's not worth storing it in your fridge just to end up throwing it out anyway. If you'd like to save them, freeze them immediately.

• Be sure to store foods properly. Pack meats separately from vegetables and grains. Mark the storage containers or bags with the item names and the dates you packed them in addition to a "use-by" date so you can keep track of what to use by when.

• Cool all foods completely before storage. Make sure your refrigerator is working to keep food cold enough, preferably no more than 5 degrees. You can help keep the temperature consistent by not overloading the refrigerator, which compromises its efficiency

• When reheating, leftovers must reach a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 30 seconds to kill bacteria. It's best to do this on the stove top or in the oven as microwaves don't heat evenly and some areas may be heated properly and others may not be hot enough. Be sure to use a thermometer to check the temperature, removing the food from the heat source before checking the to make sure you're getting an accurate reading and you're not just measuring the temperature of your heat source!

Storing your leftovers safely not only keeps you from wasting delicious food, it prevents the growth of dangerous bacteria and limits your exposure of foodborne illnesses. Any hot or cold foods should not be left out for more than 2 hours. Be choosy about what you decide to save, and be sure to eat it within a couple of days.

A sound knowledge of rechauffe in food preparation will also be very fruitful.

When in doubt, toss it!

How to Store Your Leftover Foods, Fruits and Vegetables Safely

Similarly, I have illustrated some simple tips to keep your fruit and veggies fresh in refrigerator and store it for longer time. Many people are tired of the wilting Fruits and vegetables left in the fridge for days.

You can save both your money and health with these tips by keep your fruits and veggies ripe, fresh, and ready-to-eat.

1. Select Ripe, Fresh Produce;

Keeping your fruits and vegetables fresh begins at the store. When making your selections, keep an eye out for cuts, bruising, or soft spots on the produce available. Damages to the fruit triggers enzymatic reactions, which speed the spoiling process.

2. Freeze What You Don't Use

Once at home with your grocery finds, consider freezing what you won't be using within the next few days.This immediate freezing will ensure your fruits and vegetables are frozen at their top condition. Wrap it properly to prevent freezer burn.

3. Store Smart

Vegetables are best stored in the bottom rack, or lower level of the fridge. It is not recommended to store fruits or vegetables in the door rack of the fridge, as it is exposed to varying temperatures when opened.

4. Stay Dry

Avoid rinsing your vegetables right when you get home. It's best to rinse them before preparation, as the excess moisture can induce mold growth between vegetables. Stick extra paper towels between damp areas.

5. Keep It Cool

Store foods away from appliances and areas that emit heat. Heating the fruits or vegetables will accelerate the ripening action, and lead to molding. Some fruits and vegetable do better at room temperature, others in the fridge. Check out more differences listed below.

How to Store Your Leftover Foods, Fruits and Vegetables Safely

6. Keep Them Separate

Keeping fruits and veggies together can quicken the spoiling process. Fruits tend to be ethylene producing when ripen, and vegetables are mostly ethylene-sensitive. It is a good idea to keep the two away from each other, as the ethylene-sensitive vegetables will spoil faster next to ethylene producing fruit. The two bins standard in most fridges will be a good produce barrier for freshness.

7. Lemon Juice Prep

If you've already cut some apples and need to store the rest, try a lemon juice soak to halt the browning process. The acids in lemon juice stop the protein enzymes from reacting to create the brown, wilting colour.

Try soaking apple halves in one cup of cold water, with a splash of lemon juice. A teaspoon or tablespoon will work. This soak will also work on pears. Soak for five minutes, drain, and rinse. Enjoy your new, fresh looking fruits.

8. Future Planning

Keep good tabs on what you tend to eat during the week. This can help over-buying, and reduce spoiling from fruits and vegetables you don't use.

9. Know the Difference

Certain vegetables require different storage methods. Consider doing research beforehand to check which methods are best for storing each type of produce. Potatoes and onions, for example, should be stored at room temperature, out of direct sunlight. Avocados and melons do best when allowed to ripen, then refrigerated. And some, simply refrigerated right away.

Keep track of how long vegetables typically have before reaching their expiration. Some will lose their freshness after only a few days, others can stay for over a week.

10. Prune Your Stock

Watch your produce stock daily and remove any spoiling fruits or molding areas. This will stop the spoilage from spreading to the remaining healthy items, keeping your produce fresh.

If stored in bags, create small punctures to allow air flow in order to prevent spoilage. Leave a bit of room in between items for air flow and freshness.

11. Select Food Containers

A few products can go a long way in keeping your produce fresh. These containers allow for easy storage, ventilation, and are dishwasher safe. Check one out to keep your fruits and vegetables fresh for longer.

12. Pro Tips

  • Store asparagus upright, in a glass of water.
  • Puncture a lemon and squeeze the juice, instead of cutting in half. This keeps the remaining pieces from drying out.
  • Store avocados in a paper bag.
How to Store Your Leftover Foods, Fruits and Vegetables Safely

Stick with these tips, and you are on your way to fresher produce and more monthly savings. Enjoy the benefits of healthier fruit, and healthier you. 

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