away home-cooked food
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Avoid food contamination by properly preserving food and leftovers.

What food goes inside the refrigerator?

Some foods must be kept refrigerated to help limit the growth of germs and keep food fresh and safe for longer. These are items like milk, meat, and ready meals that have a “use by” date and “keep refrigerated” written on the label. Cool leftovers as fast as possible (within 2 hours), then keep in the fridge for up to 2 days. Open tin cans should not be stored in the refrigerator since the food inside may develop a metallic flavor. Before refrigerating, follow the manufacturer’s directions or store the contents in a storage container or covered bowl.

away home-cooked food

Dates for “use by”for food

No food, no matter how properly it is preserved, can last indefinitely. Most pre-packaged goods have a “use by” or “best by” date on them.

“Use by” dates are seen on goods that spoil fast. Eating goods that have beyond their expiration date might be hazardous. Foods having a longer shelf life have “best before” dates. They indicate how long the food will be fresh. Even though food looks and smells good after its “use by” date, it does not imply it is safe to consume. It might still have germs in it that can make you sick.

It is not hazardous to eat food that has passed its “best before” date, although the food may not be of excellent quality.

Making use of leftovers.

Don’t throw away home-cooked food; it might be your meal tomorrow! To get the most out of them, follow these guidelines:

  • Divide leftovers into separate pieces and refrigerate or freeze as soon as possible, ideally within 2 hours.
  • When reheating food, make sure it is cooked until it reaches a temperature of 70C for 2 minutes, so it is steaming hot all the way through. Always thaw leftovers thoroughly, either in the fridge or in the microwave.
  • Food should only be warmed once after being defrosted, since the more times you chill and reheat food, the greater the danger of food illness.
  • Cooked food that has been frozen and taken from the freezer should be reheated and consumed within 24 hours of fully defrosting frozen goods, such as ice cream and frozen desserts, should not be returned to the freezer once thawed.
  • Only take out of the freezer what you want to consume within the next 24 hours for safety and to avoid waste.
  • Plastic bags for life or single-use plastic carrier bags should ideally be thrown of if there has been any leakage, soiling, or damage.
  • Bags made of cotton and fabric that will last a lifetime can be washed.
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