I have read some weird and irrelevant News/Press releases in the past but a recent Health Canada release takes the cake for the purely pointless.  Whether the following says more about the idiocy of Canadians or the absolute waste of resources displayed by Heath Canada is up for debate.  The thought that people may need direction’s on how to eat leftovers is both sad and ridiculous.


Hear is the release in its entirety:


OTTAWA, March 12, 2013 Many Canadians enjoy eating leftovers from holiday festivities, family gatherings or from dining out. However, leftovers need to be properly handled. HealthCanada would like to remind all Canadians of some basic steps they can take to ensure that leftovers are eaten safely to help reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

Handling leftovers

  • Before and after handling leftovers, wash your hands as well as all utensils, dishes and work surfaces with hot soapy water.
  • Keep foods out of the danger zone, between 4°C (40°F) and 60°C (140°F) to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
  • Throw away any cooked food left in the danger zone for more than two hours.
  • Never rely on your nose, eyes or taste buds to judge the safety of food. You cannot tell if food is contaminated by its look, smell or taste. When in doubt, throw it out!

Cooling leftovers

  • Refrigerate all hot leftovers promptly in uncovered, shallow containers so they cool quickly.
  • Very hot items can first be cooled at room temperature. Refrigerate once steaming stops.
  • Leave the lid off or wrap loosely until the food is cooled to refrigeration temperature.
  • Avoid overstocking the refrigerator to allow cool air to circulate freely.

Storing leftovers

  • Always use a clean container to hold leftovers, or wrap leftovers in leak-proof plastic bags to prevent cross-contamination. Keep different types of leftovers separate.
  • Eat refrigerated leftovers within 2 to 3 days, or freeze them for later use.
  • Date leftovers to help identify the contents and to ensure they are not stored too long.

Defrosting leftovers

  • Thaw frozen leftovers in the refrigerator or in the microwave. Ensure food is properly sealed.
  • Use the defrost setting of your microwave and make sure leftovers are completely defrosted before reheating.
  • Consume or cook the leftovers immediately after they have thawed.

Reheating leftovers

  • Reheat leftovers to a safe internal temperature of 74ºC (165ºF).
  • Use a digital food thermometer to check the temperature.
  • Bring gravies, soups and sauces to a full, rolling boil and stir during the process.
  • Discard uneaten leftovers after they have been reheated.

Reheating in a microwave

  • Use only containers and plastic wrap designed for use in the microwave.
  • Loosen the lid or wrap to allow steam to escape.
  • Stop the microwave midway through reheating and stir the food so that the heat is evenly distributed.
  • Rotate the plate several times during cooking if your microwave does not have a rotating tray.

It’s estimated that there are approximately 11 million cases of food-related illnesses in Canada every year.  Many of these illnesses could be prevented by following proper food handling and preparation techniques.


SOURCE: Health Canada


Health Canada is a necessary agency to ensure the public’s awareness and safety from many serious health risks.  The feeling the they needed to put out a release about “how to properly consume leftover’s” is a waste of taxpayer dollars and emphasizes what is truly wrong with government spending.

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