Posted April 4, 2013 by James Rhodes in Family

Packing, eating and reheating: Food safety from the store to the table

Today&rsquos busy households are usually on the go, which signifies significantly less time for shopping, preparing and eating food. However, there is one thing you can&rsquot skimp on no matter how fast you&rsquore going, and that&rsquos food security. From grocery buying to reheating leftovers, you can use a number of ideas to ensure that the food you consume isn&rsquot going to make you or your family sick.

The Institute of Meals Technologists (IFT) has a plethora of information for buyers about how to avert foodborne illness throughout the year.

To make positive that the meals you bring house is as secure and delicious as it was at the shop, it&rsquos critical to know the greatest way to pack and transport your groceries. In a video on the IFT site, bit.ly/VTwhE5, Jennifer McEntire, PhD, a meals scientist and microbiologist provides some suggestions:

Pack similar foods with each other in order to steer clear of cross contamination &ndash the transfer of pathogens between a single food to an additional. For instance, pack produce with each other in one bag, and meats in another. Pack a bag of frozen foods and yet another one particular for dry goods.

If you&rsquore a fan of reusable bags, make certain you&rsquore maintaining them clean. Wipe them out, or even throw them in the washing machine on a standard basis to hold them germ cost-free. Some reusable, thermal bags can maintain foods hot or cold for up to a couple of hours, so make sure these bags are free from holes or tears. It&rsquos critical to wrap meats in a disposable bag just before putting them in a reusable bag in order to keep away from spreading pathogens. If you can, bring two reusable bags to hold meats and produce separate.

Whether you cook all your food for the week on Sunday or have further left at the finish of a meal, for a lot of households, leftovers are the important to solving the problem of “what’s for dinner.” Some foods, like casseroles, chicken salad and foods with several distinct spices, can even taste much better the subsequent day once all the flavors meld with each other. Correct handling can make certain that leftovers keep that “1st bite” taste, as properly as staying scrumptious and bacteria-cost-free.

It&rsquos crucial to keep in mind to preserve three items in mind when it comes to leftovers: refrigerating, storing, and reheating. The video which can be found on the Food Details page at bit.ly/RN0mWj provides many suggestions on how to safely savor foods a second time about.


To save power, initial cool your meals prior to placing it in the refrigerator. You can speed up the cooling approach by chilling meals in an ice bath or cold water, setting it in front of a fan, or dividing it into smaller sized portions that can be placed into shallow containers. The temperature in your refrigerator ought to be at 40 degrees Fahrenheit ( degrees Celsius) or decrease. It&rsquos ideal to use a thermometer to make confident you have the appropriate temperature rather than relying on refrigerator controls and displays. The essential is to retailer leftovers quickly, within two hours of cooking (one particular hour on hot summer days or in warm climates).


Thin-walled metal, glass or plastic shallow containers (no far more than two inches deep), bags, foil and plastic wrap are ideal for storing leftovers. Cooked meat can be stored three to 4 days in the fridge, whilst uncooked ground meats, poultry and seafood will final only a day or two. Raw roasts, steaks and chops (beef, veal, lamp or pork), as effectively as casseroles, veggies and equivalent side dishes and pie can be refrigerated for three to five days. If you have a lot of leftovers, you might decide on to freeze them, which completely halts bacterial activity, so meals can stay secure and usable for numerous months. Freezer temperature must be at degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius).


Employing a meals thermometer is the greatest way to guarantee food is heated to a safe temperature. Most foods, specially meats, must be heated to 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius) in the center. It&rsquos safe to leave steak or other entire cuts of beef or lamb a small bit rare when you reheat them, as extended as they were initially cooked at a high temperature to sear the outside and kill bacteria on the surface of the meat. Bring sauces, soups and gravies to a boil. By no means reheat leftovers in crock pots, slow cookers or chafing dishes. When reheating in a microwave, use a reduced energy setting to reheat and to stay away from overcooking.

For some rapidly facts for fast heating, whilst utilizing the microwave oven, check out this IFT video: bit.ly/PjUyl0.

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James Rhodes