Don’t just consume leftovers, this is the right way – The story of a New England student who had both legs amputated after eating leftover food, namely rice, chicken and other leftovers from restaurants, is quite a concern.

The 19-year-old man was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) of Massachusetts General Hospital for organ failure and a rash from eating leftovers.

His hospitalization period was later extended due to complications, including necrosis of the arms, legs and gangrene due to leftover food.

Because of this, the US Department of Agriculture recommends that people make sure food is cooked to a safe temperature.

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Reported from Fox Newsthe department also advises everyone to immediately refrigerate leftover food to ensure that it is still safe or not to be consumed.

Leftover food illustration.  (Shutterstock)
Leftover food illustration. (Shutterstock)

“Not processing food at safe temperatures and leaving food out at unsafe temperatures are the two leading causes of foodborne illness,” the US Department of Agriculture said.

Safe handling of leftovers is critical to reducing foodborne illness.

Red meat must be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 62 degrees Celsius as measured by a food thermometer before removing the meat from the heat source.

Meat should be allowed to stand for at least 3 minutes before being processed or consumed. All ground beef should also be cooked to an internal temperature of 73 degrees Celsius and uploaded to an internal temperature of 73 degrees Celsius.

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The USDA shows that bacteria grow rapidly between temperatures of -17 degrees Celsius and 60 degrees Celsius.

Because of this, the USDA instructs that hot food should be kept hot at 60 degrees Celsius or warmer to prevent bacterial growth.

Leftover food should also be refrigerated within 2 hours of cooking and any perishable food that has been left at room temperature for more than two hours should be discarded.

Cold perishable food should be stored at 4 degrees Celsius or lower. Food should be cooled quickly to reach a safe refrigerator storage temperature of 4 degrees Celsius or below.

Don’t forget, leftovers must be covered and wrapped in airtight packaging. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or frozen for 3-4 months. Meanwhile, frozen leftovers are safer indefinitely.

However, these foods can lose moisture and flavor when stored. So, it’s safer to reheat leftovers without defrosting them in a pan, microwave or oven. Then, the food should be used within 3-4 days after thawing.

It is safe to refreeze leftovers after reheating previously frozen leftovers to a safe temperature of 73 degrees Celsius.