Christmas may be over, but the memories will last a lifetime. And so might the leftovers. To make sure that you make the most of your holiday meal, Fork in the Road dug up are a few tips from a food safety pro. Janice Revell, co-founder (with her mom, Jeanie) of StillTasty.com, the online guide to the shelf life of foods, says that, for foods cooked on the 25th, you’ve got till around the 29th to eat up.
“The key [to storing most foods] is to get it into the fridge within two hours of cooking,” she explains. “And you want to use small enough containers to warm foods up quickly. You don’t want to put a whole turkey in the fridge.”
But what if you haven’t got the appetite to polish off the rest of that bird by the end of the month?
“If not, you can always pop it into the freezer. In theory, you can keep any food [frozen] forever. But, after awhile, there are issues with freshness and freezer burn… you might not want to eat it. You can safely freeze [turkey] for three or four months with no loss of texture or flavor.”
Anything else we should know?
“Label it well,” advises Revell. “People put things in the freezer, then forget about it. A few months later, it’s unrecognizable. You can clearly mark the date you cooked it. Or, we have an iPhone app that alerts you when to eat the foods in your freezer. You program the date it was cooked, then two months later or whatever, you get an alert saying that it’s time to eat it. It’s a great way to save a lot of money and cut down on waste.”
And isn’t that what the post-holiday season is all about?