Leftovers by the Numbers

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Leftovers, it’s what’s for lunch. Or dinner. Or breakfast. According to a survey by the American Diabetic Association (ADA) and the ConAgra Food Foundation, nine out of ten Americans eat leftovers at least once or twice a week and a third of us are enjoying last night’s home-cooked dinner, restaurant fare, or take-out for lunch at work just as often. With all of this brown-baggin’ it going on, are we slacking off on our food safety? For a healthy reminder, consider these numbers:

165: the degrees farenheit needed to ensure that leftover food is reheated to a safe temperature. (We’re told to use a meat thermometer to ensure doneness of food before you eat.)

97: percentage of people who don’t use a meat thermometer when reheating their food.

90: the percentage of people who consistently reheat leftovers before eating them (as opposed to eating them cold) 

40: the maximum temperature (degrees farenheit) for your refrigerator settings. Stick to 40 degrees F or lower to keep bacteria from invading your fresh and leftover food.

36: percentage of people who admit to eating leftover pizza that has been sitting out all night. See below. 

3-5: the number of days available to enjoy those leftovers before it’s time to toss ‘em. 

2: the hours prepared food can sit on the counter before you should toss it. That includes pizza!

1: the number of stomachs you have to consumer leftovers. Remember, you’re not a cow with four stomachs, so don’t risk it!



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