Keep it hot or keep it cold!

9 Nov

bolsa caliente y fria

For many this is the favorite time of the year. The leaves are changing, and for the most part the weather is gorgeous. Also is that time of the year when we go to festivals, family events and celebrations. There are not meaningful celebrations without food! We are probably getting ready to cook for a big crowd and even thinking about sending food to relatives and friends who live far away from us.
One of the most common requests for information we received at the Extension office is related to food handling and preparation. We would like to review very important tips in order to keep our food safe and prevent getting sick during the holidays.
• Cooked food can last in the refrigerator for about four days. If you are planning to use it longer than that you should freeze it.
• The best way to freeze our food is to store it in shallow airtight containers, use the food within three to four months.
• If you thaw meat or poultry in the refrigerator you can re-freeze it. The quality might decrease, but it will be safe to eat.
• If you are buying any foods over the mail, make sure that is sent to you following the appropriate recommendations. The most important one is to keep the food out of the danger zone: between 40F and 140F. If is cold keep it lower than 40 degrees and if is hot it should be kept higher than 140F.
• When you keep your food hot for too long, it might get dry. It is better to refrigerate it and reheat it when is time to serve it. If you are preparing a delicious stuffed turkey and the guests don’t get to your house on time, it is better to remove the stuffing and refrigerate it until is dinner time.
• Do not leave food at room temperature for more than two hours, if the temperature is above 90 then put the food away at one hour.
Enjoy the holiday season and don’t forget to handle your food safely. For more information contact your Extension office at 404-298-4080.

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