1.Eat prepared foods today or soon after.You want them to be as fresh as possible,so plan to store them in the fridge for no more than three or four days.(That’s true for leftover prepared meals,too.)
2.When shopping,pick up prepared foods last so that the cold items stay cold and the hot items stay hot.Buy hot food only if you plan to eat it within 2 hours,making sure to keep it at least at 140 F .Otherwise,it’s better to buy food that needs refrigerating,then reheat it to at least 165 F.No food thermometer? Pick one up so that you can make sure your food is cooked and served at safe temperatures.
3.If prepared food is an alternative to cooking at home,it should contain the kind of ingredients you cook with,such as fresh vegetables and spices,and it shouldn’t have a lot of added salt.if something is drenched in gravy or slick with oil,for example,it’s probably not a healthy choice.
4.You can stretch a prepared dish to save money as well as calories,fat,and sodium.For example,serve a side dish from the dell counter over fresh greens from the produce section.