Magazine article Work & Family Life

The 2-2-4 Rule for Handling Leftovers

Magazine article Work & Family Life

The 2-2-4 Rule for Handling Leftovers

Article excerpt

We take a lot for granted when we handle leftover foods. We act as if it's no big deal. So we may need to be reminded how very quickly bacteria grow-within a matter of hours.

Refrigeration will halt most bacterial growth, with some notable exceptions. Lunch meats, hot dogs, undercooked pork, unpasteurized soft cheese and milk all remain vulnerable.

Here are some rules for handling leftovers from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).

2 Hours from oven to refrigerator. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within two hours of cooking. Otherwise, throw them away.

2 Inches thick to cool it quick. Store food at a shallow depth of about 2 inches to speed chilling.

4 Days in the refrigerator. Otherwise, freeze it. Use leftovers from the fridge within 4 days. Some exceptions: use stuffing and gravy within 2 days. Reheat solid leftovers to 165 degrees Fahrenheit and liquid leftovers to a rolling boil.

Here ate some more suggestions from the CSPI:

BUY FRESH-CUT PRODUCE like half a watermelon or bagged salad greens only if it is refrigerated or surrounded by ice.

SEPARATE RAW MEAT, POULTRY AND SEAFOOD from other foods in your shopping cart and refrigerator. …

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