Plastic is a durable, waterproof material that can be used for many reasons.  One great way plastic is used in everyday life is to preserve the life of our food.  With the holidays upon us, keeping those leftovers fresh is a great way to reduce waste.  Here are some great ways plastic can keep your holiday meals great even after the feast!

  1. Store food in the refrigerator or freezer within two hours of cooking to keep food fresh.
  2. Tightly wrap all food, and make sure there is as little air as possible.  Not only will this save room in your freezer, it will also protect the food from freezer burn.
  3. Avoid thawing foods at room temperature.  Thaw foods in the refrigerator when possible.  Most frozen foods take up to two days to thaw completely.  After thawing, eat as soon as possible.
  4. When cooking pastas and rice, it’s ok to undercook them as they will cook fully when you reheat the meal.  Meats and poultry needs to be cooked all the way before freezing.
  5. Freeze the different components of your meal in separate containers.  
  6. Save your food in shallow containers.  Deeper containers take longer to thaw.
  7. Refreezing foods is generally not a good idea.  It can make the foods watery, and it stands the added risk of contamination.
  8. When looking for the right containers to freeze your foods, look for zip lock plastic baggies, tightly sealing lids with wide mouthed containers, and plastic freezer wrap.
  9. Make sure to date and label your food to keep it safe.  Most importantly, if you’re unsure, it’s better to be safe than sorry and to toss it out.

The great thing about plastic is that most plastic can be recycled at your local recycling plant.  Plastic bags can be taken to your local grocery store for recycling.

Keeping your holiday leftovers fresh is a breeze, thanks to the help of plastic!