With the outbreak of E.coli from contaminated spinach and ground beef and the outbreak of Salmonella in potpies, jalapeño peppers and peanuts, consumers are understandably concerned about food safety. But even if food is safe to eat, improper storage of leftovers can lead to the growth of bacteria. In fact, food that is warm and moist can create conditions where bacteria divide every half-hour and produce 17 million progeny in 12 hours.
To keep your food safe, which of the following basic rules should you apply to refrigeration and reuse of leftovers?
1. Allow no more than two hours from oven to refrigerator.
2. Store food at a shallow depth (two inches) to hasten cooling.
3. Use or discard leftovers after four days in the refrigerator.
4. Use stuffing and gravy within two days of refrigeration.
5. Reheat solid leftovers to 165°F.
6. Bring liquid leftovers to a rolling boil before eating.