Tips for safely storing Thanksgiving leftovers

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Leftovers are a staple of a big Thanksgiving dinner, but how long they last can depend on how you store them.

Before going into the fridge, leftovers should be divided into smaller portions to cool more quickly.
Cleveland Clinic registered dietitian Beth Czerwony says to put them on a shelf above any raw foods in the refrigerator to avoid cross-contamination.

Also, don’t leave food out for more than two hours after being cooked -because bacteria can grow more rapidly.

Once all the food is packed up, make sure you keep up with the amount of days it’s in the refrigerator.

“What we always recommend is three to four days maximum in the refrigerator. So an easy way to remember is you have to have all those leftovers eaten by Cyber Monday. A lot of times, patients will want to keep their food longer, and so you can certainly freeze it, and you can keep that up to six months,” explained Czerwony.

When you’re ready to heat up those turkey and potatoes – or whatever makes it to the plate a second time – Czerwony says 165 degrees Fahrenheit is the safe temperature to kill any possible bacteria.