Reheating food is a simple and relatively quick exercise. Moreover, lasagne always taste better the next day. The flavors have time to melt. But bacteria can grow in food.
To avoid food poisoning, which method for reheating food should not be used? A handful of tips regarding cooling, storage and reheating ensure the food is both tasty and safe to eat.
Bacteria grow well between 40 °F(4.4°C) and 140 °F (60.°C), the so-called “danger zone”. You’ve heard of the two-second rule, now remember the two-hour rule. Do not refrigerate hot foods within two hours of exposure to room temperature. It minimizes the growth of bacteria in the danger zone.
If you have any large portions of food, divide them into smaller containers. The smaller the portion size, the faster it will cool.
Use thin-walled metal, glass or plastic containers that are no more than two inches deep. Bags, foil and plastic are good for odd shaped food.
The smell and look of leftovers are not always good indicators for whether foods are safe or not. A general rule of thumb is to use chilled leftovers within three to four days; eat frozen foods within four months.
Reheat foods that have been cooked and cooled, like meats, to at least 165 °F (73.8°C) . Heat cooked, commercially vacuum-sealed, ready-to-eat foods, such as hams and roasts, to 140 °F (60°C).
Reheat leftovers thoroughly to around 165 °F(73.8°C). Reheat sauces, soups, and gravies to a boil. Never reheat in slow cooker, steam tables or chafing dishes. If possible, use a thermometer to ensure proper temperature.
Cooking ahead for the week can save both time and money, and it doesn’t take much effort to get it right. Acquaint yourself with the tips of the graphic from Happy to Survive, tips to make life easier.