Enjoy Thanksgiving Leftovers Safely

Leftovers can be the best part of a big holiday. To get the most enjoyment from the remnants of Thanksgiving dinner, a few steps will help to avoid food poisoning.

  • Set the refrigerator temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This keeps harmful bacteria from growing.
  • Refrigerate all leftovers promptly. Don’t let perishable leftovers stay unrefrigerated longer than two hours. In a hot climate–90 degrees Fahrenheit or above–reduce this time to one hour.
  • Know how long leftovers can last once they’re stored in a refrigerator:
    • Cooked vegetables, turkey, ham, meat casseroles and soup are safe to eat for up to three or four days.
    • Gravy, broth and stuffing last for one or two days.

When you’re not sure if something’s safe to eat, toss it. Better safe than sorry.

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