Tips From Jane – Just In Thyme!
Thymely Tips for Storing Frozen Foods
- Do not try to freeze or store food at less than 0°F.
- Keep a freezer thermometer handy and check freezer temperature from time to time.
- Never put hot food in a freezer.
- Some foods, such as casseroles can take up to 2 days to thaw completely, so plan accordingly.
Keep Cold Foods Cold
The colder food is kept the slower the germs grow. This is why frozen foods last longer. To make sure that your refrigerator and freezer are at the proper temperatures, check them with an appliance thermometer. The refrigerator should be at 40°F (5°C) or lower. The freezer should read 0°F (-18°C) or lower.
Keep Hot Foods Hot
Cook thoroughly—To make sure that meat and poultry are cooked all the way, use a meat thermometer.
Ovens vary and need to recalibrated periodically—Place an oven thermometer in your oven to ensure your cooking times will be accurate.
Don't interrupt cooking—Cook meat and poultry completely at one time. Partial cooking could lead to bacterial growth before cooking is complete.
Cooking frozen food—Allow frozen food more time to cook, generally 1 – 1.5 times the period required for food that has been thawed.
Thoroughly reheat leftovers—Cover leftovers to reheat. This retains moisture and ensures that food will heat all the way through.
NEVER LEAVE PERISHABLE FOOD OUT MORE THAN 2 HOURS. Refrigerate leftovers immediately in shallow containers for quick cooling.
If you split your meals into smaller pans, you may need to reduce cooking times on items such as casseroles—Fish, chicken and pork should follow the same baking guidelines.