Get Ready for Holiday Leftovers! Do You Have the Right Containers?
The holiday season brings holiday feasts. And that can mean lots of leftovers. Whether packing tomorrow’s lunch or sending your guests home with leftovers, make sure you are storing food in the right containers to preserve freshness and avoid spoilage.
Clean or Toss?
- If the plastic container cannot hold its shape in hot water or the microwave, then you may need to toss or recycle these items. This is true of most containers that are meant to transport food, such as takeout containers, and those that you purchase food products in, such as yogurt containers. These types of containers are designed for a one-time use only.
- If the container is a keeper, make sure it is clean for the next use. Wash thoroughly in dish soap and warm water, or put it in your dishwasher’s top rack.
- If the container is stained, here are some tips for removing stains. Put the plastic food container on the kitchen counter and leave in the direct sun for a few hours. Or soak the container using a mild bleach solution of 2 teaspoons of bleach per gallon of water and be sure to drain and dry thoroughly before use.
- For containers that smell, try a baking soda and water scrub (1teaspoon of baking soda with one cup of water), or try undiluted vinegar. Be sure to wash the container after using any of these stain removal steps. If the stain does not bulge, it may be time to toss the container.
- To avoid stains before they happen, spray the inside of the container with unflavored cooking spray. If you are not using the container for cooking, you can line the container with foil or plastic wrap.
- Tomato stains are stubborn to remove. Refrain from microwaving tomato sauce in plastic containers.Source: American Cleaning Institute