Chinese food is a popular choice for takeout or homemade meals. But how long does it last in the fridge, and how do you store it properly? In this blog post, we will answer all of your questions about Chinese food storage! We'll talk about how to store both homemade and takeout Chinese food, how to tell if it has gone bad, and how to reheat it safely. So whether you're looking to make your own Chinese food or just want to know how long those leftovers will last, read on for all the information you need!
Why It's Important To Store Chinese Food Correctly
When storing Chinese food, it is important to follow food safety guidelines. This includes keeping food at the correct temperature and ensuring that it is properly packaged. Food that is not stored correctly can spoil quickly and may cause food poisoning.
The danger zone for food is between 40°F and 140°F. This is the temperature range where harmful bacteria can grow quickly. When storing Chinese food, make sure to keep it out of this range. This will reduce bacterial growth and help to ensure that your food is safe to eat.
It is important to never leave food out of the fridge for more than two hours, or more than 1 hour if the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. At these temperatures, bacteria can multiply rapidly and can cause food poisoning, which can make you very ill.
In extreme cases, it can even be deadly. Foodborne illness is a major problem in the US - the CDC estimates 48 million people get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from foodborne diseases each year in the United States. That's why it's so important to follow food safety guidelines when cooking or storing food!
How Long Will Chinese Food Last In The Fridge?
Now that we've talked about food safety, let's talk about how long Chinese food will actually last in the fridge. A general rule of thumb is that properly stored leftovers will last for three to four days in the fridge. However, this may vary depending on what type of dish you are storing.
For example, a soup or stew that contains meat will only last for two to three days, while a vegetarian soup or stew can last up to four days. If you're not sure how long a particular dish will last, it's always best to err on the side of caution and eat it within three days.
When it comes to takeout Chinese food, it is generally safe to eat for three to four days, although this will also depend on the dish. I recommend eating your Chinese food leftovers the next day, when they are at their freshest. After that, you can still enjoy them, but the quality will start to decline.
Homemade vs. Takeout Chinese Food
When it comes to storing leftover Chinese food, one factor to consider is whether your food is homemade or store-bought.
With homemade Chinese food, you have more control over the freshness of the ingredients and how the food is handled. You can ensure that your leftovers are stored in an airtight container and promptly put in the fridge after cooking. This means that homemade Chinese food will generally last a bit longer in the fridge than takeout.
On the other hand, takeout Chinese food may already a few days old by the time you get it if the restaurant has prepared the meal or any of the ingredients in advance. Additionally, it has usually been sitting out at room temperature for a while before being refrigerated. For these reasons, leftover Chinese takeout food generally has a shorter shelf life than homemade.
When it comes to both homemade and takeout Chinese food, it is always best to err on the side of caution and eat it within three to four days.
How To Tell If Chinese Food Has Gone Bad?
Even if you follow all of the proper storage guidelines, there may come a time when your Chinese food has gone bad. So how can you tell if it's time to toss your leftovers?
There are a few signs that you can look for to tell if your leftover food has gone bad. First, take a look at the color and texture of the food. If it looks discolored, has changed texture, or has a slimy film, it's time to throw it out.
Next, smell the food. If it has a sour, unpleasant, or foul smell, it is probably not safe to eat. Finally, taste the food. If it tastes off, it is probably bad and you should not eat it.
If you're ever in doubt, it's always best to throw the food out. It's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to food safety!
And even if your leftover Chinese food looks and smells fine, you should still discard it after three to four days as the risk of food poisoning increases the longer the food is stored.
How To Properly Store Leftover Chinese Food
Now that we've talked about how long Chinese food will last in the fridge and how to tell if it has gone bad, let's talk about how to properly store it.
Leftover Chinese food should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Chinese takeaway food is usually packaged in containers that are not airtight, which means that it will spoil more quickly than homemade food.
If you have store-bought Chinese food that you want to save for later, it's best to transfer it from the original takeout containers to an airtight container before storing it in the fridge. This will help to keep it fresh for a longer period of time. If you don't have an airtight container, try wrapping the Chinese takeout leftovers tightly in plastic wrap before storing it in the fridge.
When it comes to homemade Chinese food, you can store it in either an airtight container or a freezer-safe container. If you plan on eating the leftovers within three to four days, an airtight container will suffice. However, if you want to keep the food for a longer period of time, it's best to freeze it.
When storing your leftover food in the fridge, it's best to store it close to the back of the fridge where the temperature is the coolest and the most stable. It's also a good idea to check the temperature of your fridge now and then to ensure that it's the proper temperature for food storage.
When storing Chinese food in the freezer, you should still use an airtight container to avoid freezer burn and preserve the taste of the food. Be sure to label the container with the date so that you can keep track of how long it has been stored. Chinese food will stay fresh in the freezer for up to six months.
How To Reheat Leftover Chinese Food
If you've followed all of the proper storage guidelines, your Chinese leftovers should still be safe to eat. However, it's important to note that the quality of the food may have decreased. Chinese food is a popular take-out choice, but sometimes it's hard to know how to reheat it so that it still tastes good. Here are some tips on how to do it properly for best results:
- Use a wok: This is the best way to reheat most Chinese food. If you don't have a wok, you can use a frying pan. This method works best for dishes that were originally cooked in a wok, such as kung pao chicken or General Tso's chicken.
- Add some oil: This will help to keep the food from sticking to the pan and also help it to retain its flavor.
- Reheat on a high heat: You want to make sure that the food is heated all the way through, so it's best to do it on a high heat.
- Add a little water: This will help to keep the food moist and prevent it from drying out.
- Use an air fryer: For dishes that are battered or fried, such as orange chicken or crab rangoon, reheating in an air fryer is the best way to go as it will help restore some of the crunchy texture of these dishes. An air fryer is also the easiest way to reheat appetizers such as spring rolls or egg rolls.
When reheating Chinese food, be sure to do so until it is steaming hot all the way through (the internal temperature of the food should reach at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit when reheating). This will help to kill any bacteria that may be present.
Additionally, it's best to avoid reheating Chinese food more than once. If you plan to eat your leftover food for multiple meals, make sure that you store it in small portions so that you can reheat a single-serve portion for each meal. If you're not sure if it is still safe to eat, it's best to throw out your old leftovers.
Leftover Chinese food can last in the fridge for three to four days or in the freezer for up to six months. However, it's important to note that the quality of the food may decrease over time. When reheating Chinese food, be sure to do so until it is steaming hot all the way through to kill any bacteria that may be present. Additionally, it's best to avoid reheating Chinese food more than once. If you're not sure if it is still safe to eat, it's best to be on the safe side and throw out your old Chinese food.