In response to the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration, the easy reply to this query is that it’s best to attempt to gobble up the remnants of your Thanksgiving feast inside three to four days (when you’re storing it within the fridge).
Nevertheless, like many issues in life, the expiration date of Thanksgiving leftovers is crammed with nuances which can be price listening to on your well being and well-being, says microbiologist Lisa Yakas, a client security knowledgeable on the Nationwide Sanitation Basis (NSF). “The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) report that almost all outbreaks of a micro organism that causes meals poisoning occur in November and December,” she says. “Lots of these outbreaks have been linked to widespread vacation meals reminiscent of turkey, hen, and different poultry.” Meals poisoning might be notably harmful to the aged, who usually tend to be hospitalized because of foodborne illnesses.
With a purpose to bypass the meals poisoning and head straight to the second while you’re having fun with your turkey-cranberry sandwich, we put collectively a useful turkey day information. Under, you will discover common suggestions for storing and reheating leftovers, in addition to a breakdown of deal with every magnificent aspect (and, in fact, the turkey). Joyful leftover-eating, everybody.
How lengthy are Thanksgiving leftovers good for? Meals security specialists weigh in
Earlier than we dive into the person expiration dates for every (mouthwatering) Thanksgiving dish, let’s run by some common suggestions to bear in mind at any time when you are having a “ought to I keep or ought to I am going now” second with leftovers.
First, just remember to refrigerate the turkey and different perishable leftovers within two hours of serving to cut back the possibility of micro organism development. Should you slip up and find yourself leaving the feast out longer than that, Tamika Sims, PhD, Senior Director of Meals Expertise Communications of the Worldwide Meals Info Council (IFIC), recommends tossing it to spare your self the possibility of foodborne sickness. (Womp, womp.)
Subsequent, be sure to’re utilizing your full steady of Tupperware containers to retailer these leftovers. “It’s necessary to get the temperature of the leftovers down quickly to room temperature to discourage any sort of bacterial development,” says Yakas. “To hurry the cooling course of, strive separating giant portions of leftovers into smaller containers. It’s okay to put sizzling leftovers straight right into a correctly working fridge, supplied giant portions have been divided into shallow containers for faster cooling.” Meat reminiscent of ham and turkey needs to be sliced earlier than storing, so it cools extra evenly. Yakas additionally recommends leaving the lids off the storage container till the meals has cooled fully, then go forward and canopy it. Storing meals in particular person parts like this can even make sure you’re not heating issues up and cooling them down once more—which can also lead to bacteria growth.
You can even repeat this similar course of within the freezer if you wish to get pleasure from it previous that three to four-day mark. (And don’t fret, there is no proof to counsel that food loses nutritional value in the freezer).
Phew, okay. Now, flash ahead to while you’re able to get pleasure from Turkey Day, half two. “When reheating leftovers, be certain the temperature is 165 °F or above. If utilizing a microwave, stir the meals periodically to assist promote even reheating. Be sure there aren’t any chilly spots within the meals the place micro organism can survive. You possibly can carry leftovers out of the fridge to room temperature earlier than warming up,” explains Yakas. Frozen leftovers might be thawed within the fridge or microwave utilizing the identical directions. Each Yakas and Dr. Sims are massive followers of utilizing a meals thermometer while you’re coping with leftovers, notably in the event that they include meat, to be sure to’re hitting that 165 °F mark each single time.
With all that stated, here is how lengthy your Thanksgiving faves final and a few finest practices for storing, reheating, and having fun with them.
How lengthy are Thanksgiving leftovers good for?
Per the U.S. Division of Agriculture (USDA), refrigerated, sliced turkey might be eaten chilly or sizzling inside three to 4 days of storing the leftovers. Nevertheless, when you retailer it within the freezer, you simply must eat within two to six months. Whenever you’re able to get pleasure from your turkey, thaw it (if frozen)and reheat within the oven at 325 °F within the oven. Or, when you ‘re feeling impatient, cowl the meat and microwave it till your meals thermometer reads 165 °F.
Like turkey, stuffing lasts within the fridge for 3 to 4 days, or as much as six months within the freezer. Reheat it to 165 °F within the oven or microwave and also you’re able to eat.
3. Potatoes and different cooked veggies
Your entire veggies keep good for three to four days in the fridge or eight to 12 months in the freezer. Reheat your potatoes, green beans, or creamed spinach to 165 °F within the oven or microwave.
4. Rolls and biscuits
Whereas biscuits, rolls, and different Thanksgiving carbs do not must be reheated, there are just a few finest practices to observe relating to storing them so that you don’t wind up with… mold. Retailer-bought breads might be saved for 2 to 4 days at room temp, seven to 9 days within the fridge, or as much as three months within the freezer. Preservative-free breads and biscuits that you just bake at dwelling will go dangerous way more rapidly, so be sure to retailer them within the fridge and eat them inside just a few days.
Everybody breathe a sigh of aid: You could have plenty of time to eat leftover pie. The USDA says that cream-based pies like pecan and pumpkin needs to be saved within the fridge instantly as soon as they’ve had an opportunity to chill. Simply be certain to shine the remaining slices inside three to 4 days. In the meantime, berry pies might be saved at room temp for one to 2 days, or as much as seven days within the fridge. There is a little bit of a debate relating to how lengthy pies can final within the freezer, however the common consensus appears to be about 4 to 6 months.
Simply be sure to observe those self same reheating guidelines we talked about for the savory Thanksgiving dishes.
See how a dietitian fills her Thanksgiving plate:
Oh hello! You appear to be somebody who loves free exercises, reductions for cutting-edge wellness manufacturers, and unique Nicely+Good content material. Sign up for Well+, our on-line neighborhood of wellness insiders, and unlock your rewards immediately.