How to Store Leftovers Safely to Prevent Food Poisoning

Most of the time you find that you have cooked more food than needed. If you don’t eat all the food, you should never throw away any meal. Instead, you should store the food in clean plastic storage containers to avoid contamination. Also, you should store the food in the refrigerator to prolong its shelf life. You should never waste food at any given moment and always aim at ensuring that there is less wastage in your household.

1. How soon should you store the food?

You need to store the food as soon as possible to ensure it stays fresh for a long time. However, don’t pack and store the food while it’s still warm as this will elevate the temperature of the refrigerator and make the food go bad easily. Wait an hour or two for the food to cool down and ensure that everyone is full then you can store the leftovers. Don’t pack the food before everyone has had enough.

2. How to pack the food

Use plastic storage containers with lids to ensure that your food is not contaminated before you store it; click here. Ensure that the containers or packets are clean and don’t use the one that had food. This will reduce the chances of contamination. Also, don’t mix food in the same container as this can accelerate the rate of food spoilage always use different containers to store the food. You can keep the packets and containers separately in the fridge. This allows your fridge to be organised and have enough space.

3. How long should food stay in the refrigerator?

You should not store food in the fridge for a long time and the maximum number of days should be 3 to four days. If you are storing it in the freezer, then the food can last for up to three to four months. If your food stays for more than four days in the fridge, then the food is not safe for consumption. Additionally, food stored for long loses its texture, flavour and moisture. You might find that the food has a weird taste to eat as compared to the original flavour. Storing food for a few days keeps the flavour and texture close to the original meal. You might want to store some foods for a short period like bread to maintain its taste.

4. Keep your fridge clean

Sometime you might find that the food you store in the fridge goes bad after a day and you start questioning why. The reason might be that your refrigerator is not clean and not well maintained; this causes the food to go bad. Always clean your fridge and maintain it hygienic. Throw away all the spoilt and expired food. Also, ensure that the fridge is set at a regulated temperature so that all your food stays fresh for long.


Wastage of food should always be discouraged in any household. If you cook, food that is more than enough always opt to store it instead of throwing it away.