12 top tips to chill, freeze and defrost food safely
So you’ve cooked a huge shepherds pie.. or have a load of left overs .. what,s the next bit .. are you confused, on how to , chill, freeze and defrost food? well your not on your own.. (its a bit of a head wreck alright) I received a lovely message today, from a mum who has just started cooking from scratch. She always ate on the go before she had her girls, because of work commitments. She,s flying at the cooking end, but was a bit confused about the left overs bit.. Whats safe when it comes to reheating, chilling and defrosting.. It can be so confusing. Is it safe to defrost over night on the counter. Can you reheat after chilling food? I myself am just a “mammy cook too” can be left scratching my head at times as well.. When I,m unsure I always check the safe-food website.. with their help I have come up with 12 top tips to chill, freeze and defrost food safely.
- Always let your food cool before putting it in the fridge, because it could raise the temperature of the fridge and allow other foods to get too warm.
- If you have just cooked a dish (i,ll use chicken curry for example..) and have leftovers, cool cover, and refrigerate within two hours.. Separate into portions when cool put into zip lock bags and freeze
- Dividing food into smaller portions and putting it in a shallow dish can help to make it cool more quickly
- Leftovers stored in the fridge should be eaten within three days
- Do not freeze any foods after their “use-by-date”, because it might not be safe to eat.
- The safest way to defrost food is in the fridge. Allow at least 24 hours to defrost..
- Make sure that poultry has thawed completely before cooking. You can check whether the meat feels frozen by using a fork .
- When you have defrosted food, cook or eat it within 24 hours. Don’t refreeze.
- Don’t defrost food in the microwave unless you are going to cook and eat it straight away. This is because when food is defrosted in the microwave it can get warm enough to allow harmful bacteria to grow.
- With pre-packed foods, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If a food label tells you to cook the food from frozen, you should do this – don’t defrost it.
- If you’re reheating leftovers, reheat them only once until piping hot.. and as the safe food website “if in doubt throw it out …
So there you have it.. my 12 top tips to chill, freeze and defrost food safely, I really hope it helps x
Get messy x have fun x One Yummy Mummy x