Food safety tips for leftover veggies
Food safety is no joke. And with the rising popularity of meal prepping, we thought it might be a good idea to answer some of the common questions we get. It’s great that so many people want to be vigilant with their veggies!
However, we see WAY too many meal prep images online that show less-than-ideal food safety messages. So let us help you get the most out of your greens, purples, whites and oranges.
How long do cooked vegetables last in the fridge?
Like with any broad question, it can be hard to give a definitive answer. In general, cooked veggies will last around 5 days in the fridge. Here are some things to be conscious of when storing cooked veggies:
- Try not to overstock your fridge - the chilled air needs room to circulate and keep all the stored food fresh and delicious
- Check that your fridge temperature is at 5 degrees Celsius or below.
- Avoid putting super hot food in the fridge - wait for the steam to pass or speed up cooling by placing hot cooked veggies in shallow containers or bowls, to help them cool well before you store them.
As always, use discretion. Check with your eyes and nose, and discard if anything seems off (pun totally intended).
Can you freeze roasted vegetables?
You sure can, and it’s a great way to avoid food waste and help you with meal prep. Just make sure the veggies have cooled fully before you start the process. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves...
First, cook your veggies and let them cool until they’re room temperature (not for too long, though: remember what we said above?)
Next, drain any excess fluid and seal them in a clean, airtight container. Then you can go ahead and freeze them to your heart's desire.
How long does vegetable soup last in the fridge?
That all depends on what the ingredients are. Animal proteins like chicken (including stock) will spoil quicker than vegetables, as will any recipes with dairy in them.
Again, how long you leave the soup out to cool is a big factor. A big pot of soup will take a long time to cool down, so consider portioning it when it’s still hot to decrease waiting times.
As a rule of thumb, 2-3 days is a good idea. But don’t forget that soup freezes brilliantly too, so why not significantly lower the risk and freeze it straight away?
Trust your gut
These are all great timelines, but it’s important to use your instincts as well. When in doubt, chuck it out. Trust your gut (or it might teach you a lesson the hard way).
- 4 foods for gut health
- How to encourage your child to eat vegetables
- Veggies: the real reasons why they’re good for you
Reviewed by the healthylife Advisory Board August 2021.