Are My Leftovers Still Good?
Thanksgiving leftovers seem to last forever. But even if they do, should you continue to munch on them?
Follow these food safety tips to keep your holiday celebrations happy and healthy.
Safely Enjoying Leftovers
Refrigerate all leftovers promptly. Foods should not stay out of refrigeration longer than two hours. (In hot weather - 90 degrees Fahrenheit or above - this time is reduced to one hour.)
Store leftover food in shallow containers no more than two inches deep.
Remove cooked turkey from the bone, and store it separate from stuffing and gravy. Eat leftover turkey within four days, stuffing and gravy within two.
Reheat leftovers to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Discard any foods that may be unsafe to eat.
Know how long leftovers can last. Check the reference chart below.
Keeps Up To
Cooked fresh vegetables
Stew or soups
Cooked beef, pork, poultry, fish and meat casseroles
Cooked patties and nuggets, gravy and broth
Setting the Temperature is Key!
Set your refrigerator temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This keeps harmful bacteria from growing. Storing food in a refrigerator with temperatures higher than 40 degrees Fahrenheit increases the likelihood of foodborne illness.
Temperatures inside a refrigerator can vary, especially from season to season. Control the temperature by keeping a refrigerator thermometer in the center of the middle shelf (not on the door). Check thermometer often to be sure the temperature remains below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
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