October 19, 2018

Thanksgiving Leftovers

After the Thanksgiving meal, consumers must store leftover food safely to prevent foodborne illness. The FDA and the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has information you can use!  Turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, side dishes, and desserts are all perishable and must be refrigerated as soon as possible.

Thanksgiving  Remove turkey meat from the bones, cut into serving size pieces, and refrigerate separately from the stuffing within 2 hours of cooking. You can freeze the carcass, or use it today to make stock. Shallow containers are best for storing leftovers, since the food will cool down quickly and stay out of the danger zone of 40 degrees to 140 degrees F.

Use leftover foods within three to four days, or freeze the foods in freezer containers for longer storage. Be sure to mark the date on the freezer container. Be sure that your refrigerator is set at 40 degrees F or below, and that the freezer is at 0 degrees F or below.

When you serve leftovers, heat them to a temperature of 165 degrees F. It’s best to use a food thermometer to make sure the food has reached that temperature, but you can heat the food until it is steaming or bubbling.

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