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How to manage festive food leftovers

Living
 Executive Chef John Getanda of Enashipai Resort & Spa displays his specially made traditional Christmas Turkey [Courtesy, Jayne Rose Gacheri/ The Standard]

Many food lovers hate the idea of wasting food, though sometimes it is difficult to feel inspired by a fridge full of leftovers and the basic idea is to “kick out” everything from the fridge without a second thought after the festivities.

“Most food lasts in the fridge between four to slightly over a week in the fridge and now is the perfect time to take stock of festive leftovers and cupboard essentials you already have at home to cook nutritious and filling meals with food that may otherwise have been wasted, but luckily, now is the perfect occasion for a festive use-up day,” says John Getanda, Executive Chef at Eshipai Resort. 

Cooked turkey/chicken or other meat will last in the fridge for up to two days, while when put in the freezer, it will last up to six months.

Cooked gravy remains healthy to eat if preserved in the fridge for up to four days, but will go for up to six months if preserved in the freezer. 

When roast potatoes are preserved in the fridge, they can last for two days, but if preserved in a freezer, they will remain healthy to eat for up to three months. 

The cake will be healthy to eat for two months while in the fridge but for one year if placed in the freezer. 

In 2022, an industry report showed that during the festive period, an estimated two million turkeys, five million Christmas puddings, and 74 million mince pies were thrown away despite being edible. That is almost seven million bins worth of wasted food, or 270,000 tonnes, disposed of despite being good to eat.

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