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How to Safely Reheat the Best Leftovers

March 10, 2021
thanksgiving feast on table

Many people will claim that the leftovers are the best part of a great meal (think Thanksgiving and Christmas). There is nothing better than watching football all weekend with plates of leftover turkey, sides and desserts. But before you dive into that dressing or pumpkin pie, make sure those dishes are safely stored and reheated properly afterwards.


Clear Out Your Refrigerator to Avoid Spoilage and Contamination

One little suggestion for before your big meal is to use up much of what you usually store in your refrigerator. Eat up that deli meat, yogurt, and leftover pizza. Make room for your leftovers.

Once dinner is over, no one wants to clean up. Bellies are full and a nap seems necessary, but it is important to get those leftovers packaged up and stored within two hours.


Portion Your Leftovers as Best Preservation Practices

Divide them into smaller portions, some for sharing and some for keeping at home. Refrigerate what you plan to eat in the near future.

Those that you are saving for use later can go into the freezer. Four days is the cutoff for refrigerated leftovers, otherwise freeze it. Don’t worry about cooling everything to room temperature. They can go into containers or bags while still warm.

When storing the leftovers of all the sides, it is best to put them into smaller containers versus just covering the dish they were served in.

This leaves less chance of bacteria growing, also saves space. Once the leftovers are stored away, try to avoid opening the refrigerator until everything is completely cooled down. Of course, a quick grab of the whipped cream for a slice of pie might be necessary.


Always Reheat in Smaller Portions

Leftovers should be reheated to 165 degrees to ensure food safety. It is best to only reheat what you will be eating. Repeated reheating will deplete the flavor and moisture of the food. If reheating in the microwave, be sure to rotate the food and check temp in a few areas.

There are some tricks to safe and tasty reheating.


Heat Your Foods Properly, Year-Round with the Help of Certified On The Fly

At Certified On The Fly, we believe that food safety and proper reheating is something that cooks should practice year-round. If you are a manager or employee of a restaurant or other food service establishment, food safety is important from all angles. In order to stay on top of industry best practices, make sure that your Texas food handler certificate is up-to-date.

If you need a new Texas Food Handler certificate, do it the convenient way with the help of Certified On The Fly. Register for our online course today!

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