The DO’s and DON’Ts of Leftovers

8430349_S-125x125No matter how much food people eat at your next party, there is sure to be something left behind. And while giving out some food to your guests to take home is a good idea, there will likely be at least a few dishes you’ll want to keep for yourself. But leftovers can be a tricky business, especially when not handled properly. Knowing how long a particular food is good for and how to store it properly varies from dish to dish, but we’re here to provide you with some general tips to help you get started.

When it comes to leftover food, the most important thing is making sure you get it in the refrigerator as soon as possible. Every minute food is left out in the open, the less likely it will be okay to eat a few days from now. Keeping your food cold will slow the growth of bacteria, keeping it fresh for a longer period of time. You can further extend the life of your leftovers by keeping them properly covered. Depending on the dish, you will want to keep food in a sealed plastic container, a tray covered in foil, or even a zip lock bag.

Most leftover food should also be reheated before eating. Even if you have kept the food cold, there is still a chance that bacteria have begun to grow. By heating your food at a high temperature, even briefly, you should be able to get rid of small amounts of bacteria.

Most importantly, you should trust your instincts and don’t eat something that doesn’t look or smell right. On the other hand, don’t throw away food that seems perfectly fine. It can be a tricky balance when it comes to leftovers, but by following these tips you should be able to get as many meals out of your food as possible.