This is how you must reheat leftovers to ensure food safety



There are days, when you just feel like eating a delicious meal without making any efforts and leftover food seems like a blessing in such moments.

But wait! Are you reheating the food in the right way without harming the nutritional value?

Well, we often reheat the food for 30 seconds and feel it is fit for consumption. But reheating is as good as re-cooking.

So, following the right techniques are essential else leftover food may affect digestion and even cause food poisoning.

Here are a few essential tips that help in reheating the food perfectly.

1. Cooling is essential

If you want to save food for the next day to make things simple, then always make sure that you give ample time to the food to cool down completely. Once the food attains room temperature, make sure you refrigerate it properly so that you can retain the nutritional value. Make sure you give at least 2-3 hours for the freshly cooked meals to cool down and then refrigerate them.

2. ​The 2-minute rule

If you have been reheating food for 30 seconds or just 1 minute, then you can’t ensure that the leftover food has no development of bacteria or pathogens. Yes, this may sound strange, but make sure that you heat the food at a high temperature for at least 2 minutes.

According to the USDA, the food should be reheated to an internal temperature of 165°F (73.8°C). Heating at optimal temperature causes the proteins in any bacteria to break and kills the germs at around 140°F (60°C).

3. Kill the pathogens

Now, this may seem strange but contact with moisture in the air or improper storage may lead to development of bacteria and pathogens.

The best way to avoid that is to reheat the food to a boiling point if you are heating curries or stews. Make sure the food is piping hot so that the high temperature reduces the risk of food poisoning.

4. Don’t reheat too many times

If you want to retain the nutrition of your leftover meals for days or a week. Then make sure you reheat the leftover food just once at an optimal temperature. You can also reheat the curries, soups, stews and once they start boiling turn them off the flame. Experts advise that heating food multiple times can reduce the nutritional value. In fact, if the food is not heated properly and is done multiple times, it may increase the chances of food poisoning.

5. Small pieces help in better heating

Whenever you are heating too many things at a time, always make sure that you cut large meat or fish portions into small chunks. This helps in cooking the food perfectly inside out. Bigger pieces take a long time to heat, which may leave the risk of improper heating.

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