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It’s important to keep food safety in mind when storing your leftover turkey, dressing and other Thanksgiving fixings. If the food stays at the wrong temperature for too long, your next-day feast could result in a nasty foodborne illness.
Audio file: “It is important to remember when you’re using leftovers to be sure that they have not been sitting out for longer than 2 hours. Any food that reaches a temperature between 40 F to 140 F is considered in the danger zone.”
Audio file: “In the danger zone, harmful bacteria multiply very quickly—and that bacteria can make you very, very sick. It’s what causes foodborne illness, so you want to make sure any leftovers are refrigerated properly within 2 hours.”
Audio file: “It’s a good idea to divide leftovers into small portions before refrigerating. This allows the food to cool quickly all the way through. It also makes them handier to eat.”
Audio file: “Leftovers that are kept in the refrigerator are safe to eat within three to five days. If you want Thanksgiving to last even longer, leftovers will keep anywhere from two to six months in the freezer.” — Molly Poffenbarger, health educator, WVU Extension Service Family Nutrition Program
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WVU Extension Service Family Nutrition Program
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