14. Cover Food Properly

Leftover Food Cover

Keep your food tightly covered to prevent contamination with bacteria. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap or use airtight containers for storing your leftovers. Glass containers are best, as they can be safely used in the microwave. If you choose to use plastic containers, be sure to use ones that are bisphenol A (BPA) free. BPA is a chemical used in certain plastics that can be transferred to your food. To prevent transferring chemicals from plastic to your food, do not use plastic containers or plastic wrap in your microwave.

13. Follow Guidelines

Follow Guidelines

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) publishes a chart for safe storage of foods in the refrigerator and freezer. If you ever wonder how long certain food items can be stored, check out this handy guide. For instance, hard-cooked eggs can be stored in the refrigerator for one week but should never be frozen. Raw egg whites can be refrigerated for two to four days, or frozen for up to one year. Cooked meat can be safely kept in the refrigerator for three to four days, but gravies and meat broths will only last one to two days.

12. Thaw Frozen Foods Safely

Frozen Foods

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) also offers tips on food safety, including the safety of leftover foods. Thawing frozen leftovers in the refrigerator is the safest, although slowest, method of thawing frozen foods. Once thawed, frozen food should be consumed within three or four days. Frozen food can also be thawed in the microwave. Be sure to use a food thermometer, as thawed food needs to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Leftovers can also be reheated without thawing, although cooking frozen food takes longer than cooking thawed items. Simply fully reheat the frozen foods on the stovetop, in the oven, or in the microwave.

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