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The Dos And Donts Of Reheating Food


Knowing how to reheat food properly is so important for us to keep healthy and avoid any nasty bugs or food poisoning. Being able to eat up our leftovers is great for saving money, is environmentally conscious and ideal for those who are strapped for time.

Reheat and eat with these simple tips. If you would like more information on reheating and storing food, do have a look at the NHS 'how to store food and leftovers' guide.

Do

Cool throughly
If you know there is going to be surplus food, start cooling your leftovers as quickly as possible, but do not use the fridge for this process! Transfer your leftovers from the pan or tin into a Tupperware or freezer bag. Do not leave your food in the pan as you don't want any residual heat allowing bacteria to grow. Any cooling food should be put into the fridge within 90 minutes.

If you are trying to cool a large quantity of food, transfer to a shallow dish, the heat will dissipate quicker this way. While cooling, give foods a stir every so often to help it on its way to cooling down.

Store properly
Keep Tupperware boxes of various sizes to hand, make sure they are airtight, ensure the lid fits properly and there are no hidden cracks for air to get inside.

Keep leftover foods separate from raw meat and fish when storing in the fridge and ideally keep them away from each other in the freezer too.

Reheat right
Unsure foods are piping hot when reheating them either in the microwave or on the hob? If reheating in the microwave, bring the dish out every minute or so and stir to ensure every section is getting enough heat. Similarly, if reheating in a pan, stir every 30 seconds and watch nothing catches on the bottom and burns.

Don't

Reheat more than once
This tip is extremely important if rice is in the picture. Rice can be one of the main culprits for giving yourself or someone else food poisoning and it can be easily avoidable. Read more on the topic with the NHS 10 ways to avoid food poisoning guide.

'Uncooked rice can contain spores of Bacillus cereus, a bacterium that can cause food poisoning. The spores can survive when rice is cooked. If rice is left standing at room temperature, the spores can grow into bacteria. These bacteria will multiply and may produce toxins (poisons) that cause vomiting or diarrhoea.' - NHS

Eggs can cause you harm if reheated again and again. Whichever way you are cooking your eggs, be sure to eat these straight away. If boiling eggs and eating later, cool the boiled egg with shell intact by running under cold water. Store in the fridge straight away for up to 3 days.

By following these tips and you will make sure you are keeping yourself and others around you free from avoidable bugs and illness!