Managing Your Reheating Lifestyle

Between basketball practice, PTO Meetings, school concerts, and late nights at the office you likely find yourself either reheating supper for a family member are scrambling to heat up last night’s meal for your little one to eat.  When saving meals for another time it is important to take the right steps:

Keep Your Cool: Your refrigerator should be set between 34-40oF. Any temperature above or below this will either freeze your food or keep them in the danger zone that bacteria likes to grow in.

Time Is Of The Essence: Leftovers should not be left at room temperature longer than 2 hours. If more time is needed until your loved ones arrive, refrigerate items in a shallow container while you wait.

Doggie Bag Dinner: Many times you may take leftovers home from restaurants to enjoy for another meal. With leftovers, write the date on your container and throw away any remaining within 3-5 days.

Cleanliness If Next To Godliness: Rummaging through your refrigerator’s contents once per week will help keep surfaces clean and organized. This assures your food is safe from contamination and allows you to better plan your meals on the go.

Bring On The Heat: Reheat all leftovers to 165oF using a thermometer to verify the temperatures. This is the temperature that kills bacteria that can cause sickness.

Be Aware Of Your Surroundings: Certain materials do not work well to reheat foods. For instance, plastic or Styrofoam can melt and seep into your foods and metallic items can catch fire if used in the microwave. Reheating in the proper container will help keep your foods and you safe.

Microwave Maniac: The most popular use for microwaves is reheating leftovers. If your microwave isn’t equipped with a turntable, you will want to rotate food halfway through the heating time. In addition take the time to stir your delicious meals to eliminate cold spots where bacteria can survive. Once you have things heated, let food stand for one minute before inserting a food thermometer to ensure food has reached the proper internal temperature of 165 oF.

Repeat Offender: Some may have leftovers from leftovers. Even though according to the USDA these are safe if heated correctly and frozen, the quality of what you are eating will be sacrificed. Pre-portioning leftovers before freezing will help keep you safe and enjoying your on-the-go meals.  Leftovers are a great way to save money and offers you a quick meal on the go.