Leftovers can be a lifesaver, especially on busy weeknights when you don’t have time to cook a new meal. But have you ever wondered how long those leftovers can last in the fridge before they go bad? And just how long are they good for?
First, let’s talk about storing leftovers in the fridge. According to the USDA, perishable food items such as cooked meats, dairy products, and eggs should not be left out of the fridge for more than two hours. Once you’ve put your leftovers in the fridge, they should be safe to eat for three to four days.
But just because your leftovers have been in the fridge for four days, doesn’t mean they’re automatically bad. There are a few signs to look for to determine if your leftovers have gone bad. Firstly, give them a sniff test. If they smell off or spoiled, it’s best to toss them. Secondly, take a look at the texture. Has it changed? Are there any mold spots? These are all signs that the leftovers have gone bad.
When it comes to freezing leftovers, they can last much longer! You can freeze leftovers for up to four months, depending on the type of food. Just be sure to label and date the container, so you know how long it’s been in there.
But, it’s also important to note that certain foods don’t freeze well. For example, cooked pasta can turn mushy and lose its texture, and certain vegetables like cucumbers and lettuce can become limp and soggy.
It’s also worth mentioning that reheating leftovers properly is crucial to ensure they’re safe to eat. Make sure to reheat leftovers to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This will kill any bacteria that may have grown during storage.
In conclusion, leftovers can be a great way to save time and money, but it’s important to know how to store and reheat them properly to ensure they’re safe to eat. Remember, perishable food items should not be left out of the fridge for more than two hours, and leftovers can last in the fridge for three to four days. And if you’re freezing leftovers, they can last up to four months, but certain foods may not freeze well. And don’t forget to reheat leftovers to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
So, next time you’re wondering how long your leftovers will last, just remember these tips, and you’ll be able to enjoy your leftovers with confidence!