Turkey, roast potatoes, stuffing, pigs in blanket! Christmas dinner is one of the many joys we look forward to over the festive season. However, there's plenty more joy that comes from it after the day itself, with traditional left over favourites such as Bubble & Squeak and turkey pie! However, alarming figures from the NHS reported that 1 in 5 of us could be at risk this festive season of developing food poisoning from diminishing Christmas leftovers.
Each year endless people find themselves bed ridden and struck down with the bug. For those who have had the misfortune of this before, will certainly not be adding it to their wish list this year. Luckily for you, we have some top tips on how to store your favourite Christmas food this year.
Just before that Christmas dinner coma hits, it is vital you store your turkey safely! Refrigerate your turkey as soon as it cools. It is important to pack it in tightly, either in a sealed container or foiled up. It is important to do this as soon as possible; the longer it is left out, the higher risk there will be of bacteria reaching it. Be certain to eat your leftovers within 3-4 days; if not make sure to freeze the meat. When freezing, package the turkey in airtight packages or tightly pack it in aluminium foil.
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Refrigerate your left over roast potatoes within two hours. This is recommended for most vegetables unless specified. It is advisable you eat them as soon as possible, as although you can freeze them for up to a year, they lose taste and texture when eaten from frozen.
Store carrots in the fridge within 2 hours of freezing. It is best to pack them in a container and eat within 1 week. It is advised that if you want to freeze your carrots that they are better blanched beforehand. You can still however freeze your roasted carrots, though they run the risk of coming out rather mushy.
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There are not too many strict guidelines in regards to storing cranberry sauce, you can store this delicious condiment in the fridge and freezer. Just cover and pop in the fridge. If not consumed within 10 days, it will keep in the freezer for up to 12 months.
Gravy, it is certainly amazing how such a random array of ingredients can equate to something simply wonderful. Unfortunately, it will only last at most two days in the fridge. The bad news is if you are freezing gravy made from cream or milk, it cannot be frozen as ingredients will separate when defrosted. However, the good news is that most varieties of gravy can be frozen. You can freeze your gravy in freezer bags, containers and basically anything you would put soup in.
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Christmas pudding stores particularly well in multiple environments. The pudding has a long shelf life; longer than you would expect. Christmas puddings have low water activity, meaning that they are not so moist. Even a home baked one can be stored out of the fridge, as long as it is in a cool dry place (such as a cake box). However, if you hope to keep it for a long time, it can be easily stored in the freezer. If doing so, ensure you allow one month after it is cooked before freezing.
Like with carrots, refrigerate within two hours of cooling. Place your sprouts in a container in the fridge for only 3-5 days. Be sure not to waste your sprouts if not consumed, as they freeze very efficiently. For the best results, place your sprouts in an ice bath for around 30 minutes, then in a freezer bag. Be sure to not squeeze anything on top of them immediately as they will squash. Consume your Brussel sprouts within 12 months.
If by some miracle you have stuffing leftover after your Christmas dinner, separate your turkey from your stuffing and place in the fridge. It will remain fresh for up to 4 days, but you can always freeze it, though for no longer than a month.