How long are Thanksgiving leftovers good for?

SPOKANE, Wash.– There’s no doubt about it, Thanksgiving leftovers are some of the best parts of the holiday. We’re already thinking about that Thursday feast but in sandwich form.

Sometimes, there are enough leftovers to eat for days and days– but how many days is it actually safe to keep munching on them?

The Monday after Thanksgiving is cut off, according to FoodSafety.gov. The website says leftovers can be kept in the fridge for three to four days. So, by the time Monday rolls around you have three choices: finish eating it all, freeze it or toss it.

Health experts say four days is the limit because after that ” spoilage bacteria can cause food to develop a bad smell or taste.” We don’t want that.

When it comes to the timing of storing leftovers away, FoodSafety.gov suggests storing leftovers within two hours of cooking. You should divide the leftovers into smaller portions, cover them and put them in the fridge or freezer using shallow containers. That way they cool down to a safe temperature quicker. Larger containers and big helpings take too long to cool down, inviting bacteria to multiply.

You can find more food safety information online here. You can also call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854.)

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