How Long Is It Safe To Eat Holiday Leftovers
The holidays are upon us and that means you will get to enjoy plenty of dinners with family and friends. After every feast, you will most likely get a plate to go home. After a couple of meals, those leftover plates will start stacking up in your fridge. You don’t want to throw any of the delicious plates out, but sometimes you just don’t get around to eating them right away either. So, how long can you keep those plates before they go bad?
What You Need To Know
When taking leftovers, such as turkey and dressing home, make sure it was wrapped properly within two hours of serving. It is best to cover leftovers, wrap them in airtight packaging, or seal them in storage containers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Experts recommend not eating turkey leftovers, which have been stored in the fridge, after three to four days. The same is true for other cooked foods. Do not leave it in your fridge longer than three to four days.
If you get sent home with casseroles and mashed potatoes, you can store these in your fridge a little bit longer, three to five days. If you know you won’t be able to consume the food any time soon, put it in your freezer. Even though you can keep food in your freezer for a longer time (two to four months), keep in mind that food tends to lose moisture and flavor if it is stored for a long time in the freezer.
Sometimes there are leftover “leftovers.” They say it is safe to refreeze any food remaining after reheating previously frozen leftovers to the safe temperature of 165° F as measured with a food thermometer. Most important rule of all: when in doubt throw it out!