By Max Esterhuizen
Planning your vacation meal? A Virginia Tech meals security knowledgeable provides some suggestions to make sure your favourite vacation classics are safely loved within the days and weeks forward.
“Relying on the vacation meal you select — whether or not it is meat, poultry, seafood or vegetarian — the bottom line is to maintain the meals out of the hazard zone, which is between 41 and 135 levels. It is necessary that meals go by means of this vary as shortly as doable. Maintain scorching meals cold and warm meals chilly,” stated Alexis Hamilton, postdoctoral affiliate professor and professor of meals processing microbiology. Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences Division of Meals Science and Know-how.
Hamilton recommends the next suggestions to make sure meals security:
- For those who’re working with meals contemporary from the oven or range, as soon as it is taken out and positioned on the desk or tray, you could have about 4 hours to eat, retailer, or reheat. For meals saved within the fridge, the time will increase to 6 hours. At this level, a call have to be made whether or not to eat, preserve, or throw away the remaining meals.
- To retailer scorching meals, you will need to enable them to chill barely earlier than putting them within the fridge or freezer.
- No matter the kind of meals, the final rule of thumb is to throw away leftovers inside three to 4 days of refrigerating.
Whereas this is not typically, Hamilton has some methods for maximizing leftovers.
“One trick I like to make use of is to place the meals on plates and refrigerate the quantity for just a few days and put the remainder within the freezer the place the meals will preserve safely for just a few months,” she says.
The longer meals is within the freezer, the extra moisture will evaporate. Whereas meals is fit for human consumption for anyplace from one to a few months, it will not style the identical if saved for that lengthy.
“For those who like vacation meals finest just a few weeks out, I might counsel freezing the meal the day it is made and thawing once you wish to eat it,” Hamilton says.
Protected shelf lives of in style vacation meals when correctly saved and sealed with hermetic heavy-duty foil, plastic wrap, or freezer paper; or when putting the package deal inside a plastic storage bag:
- Cooked poultry: Three to 4 days within the fridge, 4 months within the freezer
- Cooked meat: three to 4 days within the fridge, two to a few months within the freezer
- Cooked fish: Three to 4 days within the fridge, 4 to 6 months within the freezer
- Baked ham: Three to 4 days if sliced, one week within the fridge entire. Cooked ham lasts one to 2 months within the freezer.
- Cooked pork might be saved within the fridge for as much as every week, and within the freezer for as much as two to a few months.
- Macaroni and cheese: three to 4 days within the fridge and as much as two months within the freezer.
- Stew-style meals: Three to 4 days within the fridge and as much as 4 months within the freezer.
If meals has been saved longer than advisable by the FDA, there are some warning indicators that the meals has gone dangerous:
- It has a wierd style
- It has a humorous texture
- Irregular odors
- One thing is rising on it
“When doubtful, throw it out,” Hamilton stated.
Hamilton provides particular safety occasions FDA’s fridge and freezer storage chart. Hamilton additionally recommends USDA’s Foodkeeper programwhich supplies pointers for the secure dealing with, preparation and storage of meals. The app provides particular storage charts for fridges, freezers and warehouses for a wide range of merchandise together with meat, poultry, produce, seafood, dairy and eggs and extra.
To safe an interview, contact Max Esterhuizen at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sandrea@vt.edu or Shannon Andrea within the media relations workplace at 703-399-9494.