Good Food Blog
How to use leftovers safelyPosted at 10:05AM, 27 December 2011 by Caroline Hire - Food editor, bbcgoodfood.com
Sometimes the best meals are made from leftovers but there are a few basic rules if you want to avoid an upset stomach. Incorporating advice from the Food Standards Agency, here are our top 10 tips to ensure your thriftiness doesn't lead to throwing up...
1) Keep it in the fridge
Food which needs refrigerating should stay in the fridge for as long as possible so get any prepared foods out just before guests arrive. If you bring it out ages in advance, your window of opportunity to save leftovers gets smaller and the possibility of food poisoning increases.
2) Go small
If you're having a buffet, put food out in smaller portions and replace it once it's gone, rather than putting out massive portions. Again you're limiting the risk and your leftovers are more likely to be salvageable.
3) Step away from the spoon
Don't use your cutlery to taste food from a communal dish. Once food has come into contact with people's mouths, it is not safe to keep for leftovers. Use serving spoons and throw away leftovers from people's plates.
4) Keep cool
Make sure cooked food is cool before you put it in the fridge. This stops the temperature of the fridge rising and spoiling everything else you have inside. Your fridge should always be below 5C.
5) The 90-minute rule
Cool cooked food as quickly as possible and put it in the fridge within 90 minutes.
6) Keep 'em covered
Cover all food properly and make sure nothing drips onto anything else.
7) No one likes a drip
Keep your cooked dishes and all items that are not going to be cooked away from raw meats and fish.
8) Don't hang about
Eat all your leftovers within 2 days.
9) Hot, hot, hot
When reheating leftovers, make sure it is piping hot the whole way through. Don't reheat it more than once.
10) Just because it feels good, doesn't make it right
Even if food looks and smells fine, it doesn't necessarily mean it's safe to eat!
So your leftovers have been handled safely but what to do with them? Take a look at our collections for creative ways to use up leftovers.