Sunday, November 13, 2016

What to do if you do not have enough refrigerator space for Thanksgiving

Bust the Myth: Leave Food Outside to Keep it Cold

Many people do not have enough space to store all of the food they are preparing for a big family dinner.  So they resort to leaving food out on counters, in garages, or even outside in the cold.  If you have snow, you may think outside is a perfect idea.  Most of the time we do not have snow, but it may be as cold as a refrigerator. At first glance, this seems food safe because it’s below freezing outside or snow is ice.

Fact: Storing food outside isn’t safe

There are two reasons why storing food outside is a bad idea:
  1. Animal contamination. Animals, both wild and domesticated, can get into food stored outside, consuming it or contaminating it.
  2. Temperature variation. Just like your car gets warm in the summer, a plastic food storage container in the sun can heat up and climb into the danger zone (between 40°F - 140°F). The best way to keep that extra food at a safe temperature (below 40°F) is in a cooler/ice chest with ice.  Be sure to replace the ice as it melts.
Food stored in the danger zone for longer than two hours should be thrown out. Exceptions to this rule include ready-to-eat items like cookies, crackers, bread, and whole fruit.

This information can be helpful for thawing out a turkey that you do not have room for in your refrigerator.  Remember it takes several days to safely thaw a turkey in the refrigerator, which does not leave you much room for other food.  Do not leave a turkey out on the counter or cold garage.  You may use an ice chest with ice or look for future tips with other options.

No comments:

Post a Comment