As per the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, leaving the cooked food out for long can cause food poisoning.
At room temperature, the bacteria Clostridium perfringens grows in the cooked food. For food poisoning, it is the second most common cause. The major symptoms associated with this food poising are abdominal cramps and vomiting; within 6 – 24 hours of eating.
The outbreaks associated with the bacteria are most commonly occur in the months of December and November.
The foods served during the holidays like Turkey and roast beef have been linked to the outbreaks associated with the given bacteria.
The CDC and Prevention suggests that to prevent these outbreaks, the leftovers shall be refrigerated at 40°F. Within two hours of preparation or as soon as possible.
Rather than keeping the entire food as it is, the food like meat could be cut in pieces or slices so that they are cooled quickly on refrigeration.
The do’s and do nots are not limited to refrigeration but also extends to reheating. The CDC recommends that before serving the refrigerated leftovers shall be reheated to at least 165°F.
Also, freezing serves as a good option, if leftovers couldn’t be eaten off within a couple of days. On Freezing, leftovers can be good for 3 – 4 months while refrigeration can keep the leftovers good for 3 – 4 days.
It is also advised that food shall be refrigerated or frozen with an expiration date so that one does not lose the track of time for a given food.
Tags : food poisoning, abdominal cramps, vomiting,