Plastic Containers for Thanksgiving Leftovers
Don’t spoil the turkey this Thanksgiving, food storage in a plastic container will keep it fresh.
Did you know that 99 percent of all holiday meals will produce leftovers? Using plastic containers to store your leftover dishes will keep them fresh and help reduce waste this holiday season. Here are some helpful tips for food-safe packaging and storage.
- To maximize freshness, store leftover food in plastic containers in the refrigerator or freezer within two hours of preparation.
- Keep as much air out of the plastic container as possible. There are many options for food storage, some of which will remove excess air when closed.
- Use shallow plastic containers for food storage. This will allow for faster more even cooling.
- Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for three or four days or stored in the freezer for three to four months.
- Always defrost frozen leftovers fully either in the refrigerator or the microwave defroster.
- When reheating food, make sure it is heated until it reaches a temperature of 158 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Leftover food should only be reheated once. The more times it is reheated the greater the risk is for food poisoning. Portioning out leftovers ahead of time can eliminate this problem.
- The lifespan of a plastic container can shorten if cleaned in the dishwasher and the microwave. The plastic can become brittle which leads to air leaks or cracks.
Download the food safety infographic here for additional information on storing leftovers and other perishables in the refrigerator.