You may have heard it's dangerous to store an unbaked lasagna in the refrigerator if it contains raw eggs. In some cases, this may be true, but in general, you can safely store a lasagna. The trick to safely storing any prepared food, including lasagna, is to keep it cold in storage and cook it thoroughly before serving.
A prepared food is only as good as the ingredients that go into it. To ensure a safe lasagna from the beginning, start with clean hands, countertops and utensils. Use only fresh ingredients, and pay special attention to the meat, dairy products and eggs you use, because these ingredients are most likely to harbor bacteria. Once you've prepared the lasagna, cover it with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate it immediately. You can hold it safely in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours or freeze it for one month. Properly refrigerating a lasagna that contains raw eggs will limit any bacterial growth.
Storing the lasagna properly is only half of the equation. How you cook it also plays a role in keeping it safe. Cover lasagna with foil and cook it for 30 to 40 minutes, or until it's bubbly and brown. If you insert a knife in the middle, the filling should come out clean, not watery. A meat thermometer inserted in the middle of the dish should read 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooking the lasagna thoroughly ensures any bacteria harbored in the dish are destroyed by the high temperatures.
If you've properly stored and cooked the lasagna, it should be completely safe to eat. It's important to serve it immediately or keep it hot until you can serve it. Once you remove the lasagna from the heat, bacteria begin to grow. Refrigerate or freeze any leftovers within two hours.
The main concern with raw eggs is that they sometimes carry Salmonella bacteria, which can cause serious food-borne illness, particularly in young children, the elderly or those with compromised immune systems. Foods that are served with raw eggs in them, such as Hollandaise sauce, eggnog or ice cream are most likely to cause illness, but if you're concerned about the danger of food poisoning, use a pasteurized egg product instead of raw eggs. These products have been heated just enough to destroy bacteria without cooking the eggs.
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