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3 Essential Steps On How To Store Cooked Leftovers

One of the best parts of preparing and enjoying a home-cooked meal is the opportunity for leftovers. Knowing how you can effectively store food you cook is important if you want to enjoy any remains in the days or weeks to come. In this short brief, we explore the best food storage practices, and essential storage tools so be sure to read till the end.

By Cookist
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Leftover cooked foods have three lethal enemies: air, moisture, and bacteria. Leftovers you put in the fridge, if properly sealed, can last between 4 to 5 days. Frozen food can last months as long as the temperature is kept below the freezing range and the food itself is stored properly.

Below are some important tips you can refer to if you wish to store your cooked food and leftovers.

1.Ensure you have good food storage practices

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A good food storage practice is incomplete without organizational tools. These are needed to ensure your food does not turn into a breeding ground for bacteria and illness. When it comes to foodborne illness, the leading cause has been identified as improper storage of food. Here are a few steps to take before you store cooked food:

  • Make sure the food was properly cooked and is safe for consumption
  • Keep food away from the danger zone after cooking. The danger zone represents the temperature that encourages bacteria growth.
  • Normal food must be kept hotter than 140 F to prevent a bacterial infestation
  • Cool down or store cooked food within two hours.  Food left out after that is no longer safe.
  • Portion, wrap, or seal appropriately
  • Ensure you attach labels that can help you identify the food and how long it has been in the freezer or fridge.

2.Use good storage tools

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Where you store the food is as important as what you store them in. Storage containers should be eco-friendly, and reusable. Good examples are silicone covers and lids because they can be used repeatedly.

When on the hunt for good containers, opt for plastic or glass ones as they both have areas where they outperform each other. Remember these containers can be used until they start showing signs of wear and tear or physical breakdown.

Below are some essential food storage tools you need to have besides great containers:

  • Plastic wrap
  • Wax paper
  • Aluminium foil
  • Beeswax wrap
  • Plastic bags
  • Tape and markers

3. Remember that not all things should be frozen

It is true that almost everything can be frozen but that does not mean you have to freeze everything. What happens after thawing is the most important thing to consider. Water expands when frozen and the cellular structure of certain items will burst which will lead to water-logged, soggy, and inedible foodstuffs. Some foodstuffs you need to avoid freezing include fried foods, sauces, and mayonnaise-based dishes.

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