More than 90 percent of Americans take leftovers home from a restaurant at least occasionally, and 32 percent take home leftovers on a regular basis, according to a new survey conducted by the American Dietetic Association (ADA) and the ConAgra Foods Foundation. However, when it comes to proper leftover storage and reheating temperatures, and to determining if food is still edible, consumers "are playing a guessing game," say the groups.
Barely 6 percent of those who ask for a doggie bag label and date the contents to help them know when to throw foods out.
Among the solutions offered by the ADA:
Refrigerate leftovers within two hours of eating the meal or one hour if the weather is 90 degrees F. or above.
Label and date restaurant leftovers and eat them within three to four days.
Use a refrigerator thermometer to make sure the refrigerator is set below 40 degrees F.
Reheat leftovers to 165 degrees F.