Let’s be leftover smart this holiday season!
Remember the 2 hour rule – any perishable food left at room temperature for more than 2 hours, should be thrown out immediately. Yes, even if it looks, tastes or smells fine (1)!
Here are things you can do if you think your event might last more than 2 hours and you want to avoid throwing out too much food (2):
- Use chafing dishes, slow cookers, or warming trays to keep your hot food above 60॰C.
- Only take small portions of your cold food out of the fridge at a time or place your dishes on ice.
If you keep your food below 4॰C or above 60॰C (i.e. outside the danger zone) you will prevent the growth of unwanted and dangerous bacteria (1,7).
Finally, make sure to store your leftovers properly. It can be a great idea to write the date to which you have refrigerated or freeze your leftovers to ensure you eat them within a safe time frame. How long leftovers last can depend on what’s in them (1)!
By doing things properly, not only are we keeping everyone we love safe, we minimize food waste too!
This holiday season, we wish you all tasty, waste-free, and, most importantly, food poisoning-free dinners.