Updated: Jul 17
Whether you like it or not, the holiday season is upon us. That means parties, food, and lots of leftovers. We’ve collected our five favorite tips to reduce holiday food waste this season and wrapped them up just for you!
Use the door for items that don’t easily spoil.
Your refrigerator door is subjected to the widest temperature swings. Every time you open the door, your refrigerator warms up. Save the door for items like soda or pickles. Temperature changes encourage bacterial growth and spoilage- keep meat, dairy, and eggs off the door.
Freeze leftovers in shallow containers.
Temperature changes encourage bacterial growth. Cooling down hot foods quickly will prevent spoilage. Food will cool down more quickly in a shallow container. It will also be easier to reheat.
Store dairy items in the middle of the fridge, where the temperature is the most consistent.
Dairy items have a short fresh shelf life. Though many can be frozen it is always better to eat them fresh. Storing them in the middle of the fridge where the temperature is most consistent can reduce bacterial growth and prevent spoilage.
Thaw frozen meat products (like turkey) on a tray on the bottom shelf of your fridge.
Thawing meat on the counter is dangerous and tricky. While the outside gets warm, the inside is cold. This is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. It’s also a quick way to spread bacteria and contaminate working surfaces. Thaw your food in the fridge whenever possible. Your fridge is cool enough to slow down bacterial growth.
Compost your inedible food scraps!
Are you out of options? You’ve frozen edible surplus food, made stock out of your leftovers? Then it’s time to compost. You can compost your vegetative scrap at home or sign up for a local compost service.
Looking for more tips and tricks? Access our food storage guide at Wastedfoodstopswithus.org.
Leftover Cranberry Turkey Salad: Looking for a fun way to use your leftover turkey? Make a salad!
3 cups chopped or shredded turkey
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp. mustard
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
½ cup diced celery
¼ cup diced onion
Salt and pepper to
½ cup Slivered almonds
½ cup Walnuts
¼ cup Dried Cranberries
In a large bowl chop or shred leftover turkey. Mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, celery and onion. Add option ingredients as desired.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Add salt and/or pepper.
Serve on a toasted piece of bread or all by itself.