TikToker Shannon McNitt shared a now-viral video of how she keeps food fresh while it sits out.
McNitt freezes a pan of water and places another pan full of food on top, keeping it cool.
This simple hack is safe and effective, professor and food safety specialist Ben Chapman said.
In the video from April 4, McNitt fills a disposable tray one-third full of water and then pops it in the freezer until it becomes ice. Once it's frozen, she puts another tray full of prepared food on top, and she says it keeps her food cold while entertaining.
The video had 12 million views and more than 980,000 likes at the time of writing, and TikTokers in the comments seem impressed with the simple, yet effective hack that keeps bacteria at bay.
"Now, here is a suggestion I will actually use," one user commented.
"So glad I found this on TikTok," wrote another, "Doing this from now on for my kids' birthday parties!"
Another questioned, "how did I not think of this before?"
The food-preserving hack has an expert's seal of approval
Ben Chapman, professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University, says this hack works.
As Insider previously reported, at room temperature, bacteria grows incredibly fast and can make you sick. Even fruits and vegetables, which can usually sit out at room temperature, can grow bacteria quickly once they're cut or cooked.
Keeping food on ice can keep it fresher for longer, Chapman told Insider.
"This is pretty equivalent to putting food directly on crushed ice, which works pretty well," Chapman told Insider about the TikTok hack.
When we asked how long this hack could keep food fresh, Chapman said it depends.
"The ambient temperature, how much food, whether that food started refrigerated, and how thick the ice and pans are will all matter," Chapman said. "Doing this on a sunny hot day outside probably doesn't get you any more time than four hours."
Read the original article on Insider