Holiday Leftovers: Keeping them safe
As you make efforts to use up those holiday leftovers and prepare dishes like this low-fat turkey and veggie bakePhoto credit: recipe.com & Diabetic Living
...or this potato ham soupPhoto credit: recipe.com & Diabetic Living
... be sure to take precautions to keep the food safe when cooking with leftovers.
Here are some easy to follow tips to keep your family safe:
First and foremost, you need to throw out foods that have sat out too long - the "danger zone" for foods is between 40°F (refrigerators need to be at or below this temperature to properly cool food) and 140°F. Any and all perishable foods left out for more than 2 hours total time in this "danger zone" temperature range should be discarded.
Discard your leftovers within three days of first being served. Once it has been reheated, if not consumed, it should be disposed of.
- You still need to adhere to the proper cooking temperature with leftovers: check out the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Safe Cooking Temperature Chart here.
As always, hand washing and general cleanliness is very important for eliminating the spread of germs. Be sure to wash hands, utensils, cooking surfaces and food storage containers thoroughly.