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How to store leftovers

If you've have leftover party snacks or large amounts of food from entertaining make sure that you store them correctly.


If you've have leftover party snacks or large amounts of food from entertaining make sure that you store them correctly. Fruits, for example, give off an ethylene gas that can shorten the life of your vegetables, so it's best to store these separately. Here are a few tips on storing leftovers. However, it is a general rule that you shouldn't refrigerate leftovers for longer than four days, and that pretty much includes all types of leftovers.

Cooked and cooled foods are more susceptible to bacteria, and even though popping them into the fridge slows down bacteria growth - it's still there. Just because it smells good, doesn't mean it is good. Food poisoning causes abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting and can be caused by bacteria in contaminated food. Because bacteria typically don't change the taste, smell or appearance of food, you can't tell whether a food is dangerous to eat. So if you're in doubt about a food's safety, it's best to throw it out.

Storage tips

When bringing home fresh tomatoes, these should be left out on the counter outside of any sealed container so they can fully ripen. When you're ready to use one in a go-to recipe, it will make for a tastier meal overall. However, smaller tomatoes and cherry tomatoes should be stored in an airtight container or a resealable bag in the fridge.

Leave fruits and veggies in their original containers and store in the refrigerator. Washing them will cause premature deterioration, so leave them alone until you're ready to use, and follow our tips on cleaning veggies before you use them.

When it comes to storing meat

As a country that likes to braai outdoors on a regular basis, knowing how to store uncooked and cooked meat in our hot climate is essential.

For meat that is uncooked, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you know that it will be a while before eating it again, opt to store it in freezer for a longer life. Frozen food lasts much longer than refrigerated meals, so don't be afraid to bag up whatever you won't have time to eat over the next few days and stuff it in the freezer.

For meat that is cooked, store it in the coldest part of the refrigerator after making sure it's wrapped and sealed well in a container of your choice, and be sure to reheat properly and as soon as possible.

It is better to store leftovers at the back of the fridge. When you store foods closer to the door they are susceptible to temperature change as and when you open and close the door. Even eggs are best kept at the back. Makes you wonder why refrigerator manufacturers allow for storage space in the door! Keep the door storage for things like cold drinks, water and other beverages.


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