How Should You Store Your Leftovers?

Save food and your stomach with these tips on the safest way to store leftover food.

Reusing leftovers for lunch the next day or popping it in the freezer is a brilliant way to save money and waste.

But do you know the safest way to store yours or the correct temperature to reheat your grub to, to make sure it’s OK to eat?

Fear not, because we can save you from any possible food poisoning nightmares with this handy guide from, explaining how to store and reheat your leftovers whatever they might be…


Rice can make for a tricky leftover meal as it causes severe food poisoning if not heated to the correct temperature. Unlike other food, rice should be refrigerated or frozen within an hour, and has a shelf life in your fridge of about 4-6 days. When reheating, make sure to break down any large lumps with a fork so that it cooks evenly, and be certain it is over 60°C before serving.


Regardless of whether it is red or whitemeat can be stored in the fridge for a maximum of two days once cooked. Make sure it’s piping hot and above 75°C when reheated. The best leftover meat to freeze is anything in sauce-based meals like soups, stews and bolognaise.

Joints of meat will freeze but dry out when defrosted, whereas meats cooked in sauce will retain their moisture.


The trick with veg is to allow it to cool to room temperature before sealing and storing in the fridge. Once refrigerated, consume within a maximum of two days. If you’re freezing leftover veggies, the best solution is to blanch it first. Once your vegetables are boiled, briefly run them under ice-cold water to halt the cooking process before draining and placing in a freezer bag.


There’s little that refrigerating can do for any leftover bread that might be out of date, but popping it in a reusable bag in your freezer is a great way to keep it edible for several months. If you have any baguettes or crusty loaves that are stale, sprinkle them with water before placing them in a low-temperature oven. They’ll taste good as new.


One thing you should never do with cheese? Reseal leftover cheddar, brie or whatever cheese you’re into in plastic wrapping, as this will cling to the fats and oils which affect its taste. The best solution for any cheese is to grate it and place it in a freezer bag. This way, it will take less time to defrost and be kept edible for an extra two months, making it perfect for cooking or using as a topping.


Cooked pasta can be safely refrigerated for around up to five days and lasts for eight months in a freezer. A top tip is to toss the pasta in olive oil to prevent it from sticking together, before storing in an airtight container. Avoid overcooking pasta if freezing, otherwise it will become mushy when defrosted. Once defrosted, leave your pasta to sit for a while before dropping it straight into boiling water until it’s completely heated through.


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