Food Safefty Top Tips - How to use leftovers safely
If you’re keen to make that food budget stretch a little further make sure it’s not at the cost of basic Food Safety. This week we’ll be looking at now to make the most of any left over’s you have, safely.
Is it 'Best before' or 'use by'?
- A "Best Before" date indicates a longer shelf life. Foods with “Best Before” dates should be safe to eat but may not be at their best quality.
- A "Use By" indicates that food goes off quickly. Food can be dangerous to eat after this date.
- Don’t just make a shopping list for the week – plan your meals as well.
- Check what you have in your fridge before shopping. Make sure you eat the food you already have before its "use by" date.
- Before leaving check whether you have space in the freeze. You many be able to make the most of special offers by freezing what you can immediately use.
When you’re out shopping
- Check "use by" dates before putting food in your trolly to make sure you’ll use it in time.
- Be wary of 3 for 2 special offers. You might not save any money if you can’t eat the food before its "use by" date.
- Most dinner leftovers make an excellent lunch the day after.
- Keep leftovers safe by cooling them quickly. This should be done within 90 minutes (splitting into smaller portions can help). Then cover and refrigerate.
- Use leftovers within two days and reheat till steaming hot.
- Do not reheat leftovers more than once.
The fridge and freezer
- You may be able to freeze food up until its "use by" date. Check the packaging to see if it’s suitable for freezing.
- Freeze your leftovers. Wait until they’ve cooled before you put them in the freezer.
- Always defrost leftovers completely, either in the fridge or in the microwave.
- Cook the food within 24 hours of defrosting until steaming hot and do not refreeze.
- You fridge temperature should be below 5C.