Leftovers are very common in every household as eating habits have drastically changed over time. However, eating leftover food is not a healthy option. What if there’s a lot of food lying in the refrigerator? Throwing it away is not what we recommend. So, get your know-how right and understand how long are leftovers good for, along with how you can use them the right way!
How Long Are Leftovers Good For?
The answer is simple – two to four days is the maximum time leftovers are edible for. Anything consumed after this time span can put you at the risk of developing food poisoning.
We understand that eating leftovers is the best option when you’re in a hurry or just don’t have the energy to cook something fresh. No hassle, just heat and eat. But, do you know that having leftover food can lead to so many diseases? Indigestion, stomach ache, and intestinal infections are just a few ailments that can eventually become severe if you stick to the habit of having stale food.
Leftover food starts to ferment due to the bacteria present around it. The nutritional value of the food already declines after cooking. So, you eat leftovers that actually have nothing left in them. Reheating again makes the food toxic. Hence, it is suggested to avoid eating leftovers as much as possible.
Why Isn’t Leftover Food Safe?
1. Chances Of Cross Contamination Increase.
Cross-contamination means that the bacteria of one food item spoils the other item which is in contact. So, when leftovers are kept in the refrigerator, other food items stored are also exposed to the risk of getting spoiled.
2. Excess Growth Of Microorganisms Occurs.
Freshly cooked food cannot be stored in the refrigerator because of its heat. Therefore, it is left outside to reach room temperature and this is the perfect time for bacteria to grow and multiply. The food when left for prolonged hours starts to contaminate and lead to an upset stomach when ingested.
3. Leftover Food Loses Its Nutritional Value.
When the leftover food is kept in the fridge or even outside, the nutritious contents like vitamin C as well as B are lost. Moreover, the aroma and visual appeal of the food degrade in leftover food.
The Right Way To Use Leftovers
- Do not reheat leftover food multiple times.
- Store food within 2 hours of cooking.
- How long are leftovers good for? Two to fours days.
- Cover the leftovers to prevent cross-contamination.
- Store in an airtight container.
- Use glass, porcelain or stainless steel or storing food.
- Avoid plastic or tin containers as they are harmful to health.
Note: Articles on Ayurvedum are solely for the purpose of sharing the goodness of Ayurveda and bringing awareness on natural and healthy living. Please do not substitute it for professional medical advice. Ingredients discussed can interfere with certain medications. So, before using anything to treat yourself, always consult an Ayurveda doctor or practitioner.