Open Accessibility Menu

How to Store those Thanksgiving Leftovers

How to Store those Thanksgiving Leftovers

No matter what your Thanksgiving will look like this year, it will almost certainly will include food - usually enough for leftovers. To avoid foodborne illness, be sure to store leftovers quickly and properly. By the time your Thanksgiving meal is over, the food is cool enough to store - and the quicker you store, the food the better. Here are a few tips to help you safely store your leftovers and ensure no one gets sick.

  • Food should be stored in air-tight storage containers or storage specific bags after two hours of sitting out to prevent bacteria growth.
  • Food should be separated for proper storage. Turkey and dressing should never be stored together. Cut up the turkey into smaller portions and discard the bones.
  • Put all leftover side dishes in smaller, clean storage containers. This will save space in your refrigerator and seal the food completely.
  • Freeze food that you will not be able to eat in the next two days. This will help prevent bacteria growth. These frozen leftovers will taste best if eaten within two to three months but can be kept frozen indefinitely.

Keep these tips in mind when cleaning up and putting everything away. Because everyone knows that leftovers are the best part!

For more information on food safety, visit the FDA’s Food Safety Page.