Store Thanksgiving leftovers the safe way with these tips
Let's face it, the only thing better than Thanksgiving turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and veggies, is the leftovers the next day (sometimes enough to last us through the week!)
While leftovers are a delicious holiday tradition, it is important to store and handle them properly to avoid contamination. Here are a few tips for healthy Thanksgiving leftovers:
- It is unsafe to store food in large amounts that can't cool quickly enough. Immediately after your meal, remove stuffing from the turkey cavity and refrigerate the stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and other vegetables in separate shallow containers for quick cooling in the refrigerator.
- Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared foods and leftovers as soon as possible after serving.
- Do not over-pack the refrigerator. Cool air should circulate around the containers to keep food safe. Cut turkey into thin slices and store separately from stuffing, gravy and vegetables in shallow containers.
- Used refrigerated leftover turkey and stuffing within three days; gravy within one to two days.
- Do not cross-contaminate. Never place cooked food in a container that previously held raw meat, poultry or seafood.
- Check the refrigeration temperature. It is important to keep the fridge at 34 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.
- Reheat any leftovers thoroughly to a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit or until hot and steaming.
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