5 food safety tips for Tet leftovers
FEB 2020
5 food safety tips for Tet leftovers
Tet Holiday is for family and friends. But after Tet is all about you and those amazing leftovers! So, how do we keep that food safe and not waste it? Big C brings out 5  tips for safely storing and freezing leftovers so you can enjoy them for days to come.

1. First thing first: preparation for storage

(including the freezer and the fridge, bags, airtight containers, plastic wrap)


Clear plastic and glass containers are must-haves for food preservation

Make room in your refrigerator and freezer (if any) ahead of time to avoid shuffling things around after dinner. Use up any leftovers, condiments, and snacks the week before.

As wrapping leftover food in plastic or airtight packaging to keep bacteria out and keep the optimum quality, make sure you have plenty of freezer bags and containers (make sure they all have a lid) to store leftovers after each meal during and after Tet Holiday.


2. The 90-minute rule


Leftovers deteriorate fairly quickly when letting them out at room temperature

Because keeping hot foods hot and cold foods cold slows spoilage, it's safest to refrigerate, freeze, or preheat within 1.5 hours of cooking. 

Exceptions would be ham, homemade Lacto-fermented vegetables or kimchi (that typically have large quantities of salt in them). After opening them up, remember to cover with plastic wrap and store in a refrigerator as soon as possible.


3. Avoid opening the fridge doors frequently, separate cooked and raw food

Traditional Tet delicacies with high-protein leftovers such as pork jelly, dried bamboo shoot soup, braised pork in coconut juice with eggs, and pork-stuffed bitter melon soup should be preheated, cooled down, covered and refrigerated immediately. Once your leftovers are packed away, avoid opening and closing the refrigerator door until the food has had time to cool down. 

Ideally, store cooked leftovers at the top of the fridge, above raw and uncooked foods to avoid cross-contamination.


4. Pack leftovers into several containers, please don’t stack them in the fridge


Carefully wrap and date your Tet leftovers 

Remember that leftovers should be cooled down as quickly as possible after reheating. Then you can pack them into several shallow containers rather than one large one, and make sure you don't stack the containers in the refrigerator (this can trap the heat). The more surface area that's exposed to the cold air, the faster your food will cool.

5. Try out these recipes for Tet leftovers

Last but not least, as Tet isn’t over until you eat the last leftovers, please make sure you’ve followed our tips to avoid food poisoning over the holidays. Not sure to do with all that extra Chung Cake, Tet Cake, boiled chicken, ham, sausage or fruits? We’ve got some great ideas for you. Remember that the safe time limits which keep refrigerated leftover food from spoiling or becoming dangerous are up to 3 days in the cooling section and 1-2 weeks in the freezing section of the fridge. Check out Big C’s awesome recipe inspiration for Tet Holiday leftovers here.