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Food Storage and Microwave Hints and Tips

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Here are a few helpful hints and tips when storing your food and using your microwave oven...

Food Storage Tips:

  1. The Chill Factor.
    Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared foods and leftovers within 2 hours or less. Marinate food in the refrigerator.

  2. The Thaw Law.
    Don't thaw food on the counter. Food that's left out at room temperature longer than 2 hours is not within a safe temperature range and may not be safe to eat. Thaw food in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave if you'll be cooking it immediately.

  3. Divide and Conquer.
    Separate large amounts of leftovers into small, shallow containers for quicker cooling in the refrigerator.

  4. Avoid the Pack Attack.
    Don't over-stuff the refrigerator. Cold air must circulate to keep food safe.



Microwave Helpful Hints & Tips

  • Never runt the microwave oven without food in it.

  • Compact and other low-wattage microwave ovens (600 watts or less) may need longer cooking time than what is listed on some recipes and packages.

  • Let food stand for 5 to 20 minutes after cooking/reheating in the microwave to equalize the temperature throughout the food for even heating.

  • Do not use jars and bottles since these may crack or break when exposed to high heat.

  • To keep food with skin (e.g. potatoes) from exploding, poke holes with a fork before cooking/reheating.

When cooking/reheating vegetables, keep these in mind:

  • Be sure the pieces are about the same size.

  • Season vegetables after heating. Salt pulls liquid out of food and interferes with the microwaves. Salt should be added to food after it is cooked/reheated in the microwave.

  • Cover vegetables for even heating; uncover after cooking.

  • If crisper vegetables are preferred, reduce cooking time.

  • Reheat ready-to-eat, take-out and precooked food and leftovers to 165ºF (74ºC). Food should be steaming hot.

  • Cover foods with a lid or a microwave safe plastic wrap to hold in moisture and provide safe, even reheating.

  • Cook meat, poultry, egg casseroles and fish immediately after defrosting in the microwave oven.

  • Do not tamper with safety interlocks on the oven door. Have them serviced by a qualified technician.

  • Children should always be supervised when operating the microwave oven.

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September 24, 2017

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