Why you shouldn’t use aluminum foil for leftovers
Written by Lola Narawa on February 22, 2022
Now, this i know is something literally every household in the pacific is fond of doing. Wrapping leftovers in Aluminium foil. But did you know it doesn’t actually keep your food safe from bacteria?
Much like we need air to breathe, bacteria need air to thrive. Some bacteria like staph and Bacillus cereus, which cause foodborne illnesses, produce toxins that aren’t destroyed by high cooking temperatures. When a hot meal is left out at room temperature for more than two hours, the bacteria grow rapidly, according to the Washington State Department of Health.
Using aluminium foil to cover food poses the same risk since it doesn’t completely seal your food off from the air. “When air is present, that allows the bacteria to grow faster, so you really want to get the right containers and pack things appropriately,” says Lindsay Malone, a registered dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic. “Otherwise, your food isn’t going to last.”
If you are saving those leftovers, here are some food storage guidelines to package them safely:
- Always seal them in shallow, air-tight containers to speed up the cooling process and keep bacteria off of your food.
- Make sure you put the food in the fridge within two hours, before the bacteria has time to wreak havoc on it. Dairy and meat products are especially prone to bacteria growth, which reiterates just how important it is to use air-tight containers for any and all leftovers.
- Throw away any food that has been sitting out longer than two hours.
Remember this the next time you plan on foiling food and leaving it out.