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In the Kitchen: Storing Holiday Leftovers

You work hard preparing tasty holiday meals. Make the most of them by safely storing the leftovers.

Family around a Thanksgiving table with a turkey and fixings in the forefront
Leftovers can be a great way to continue enjoying your favorite holiday meal, but storing them safely is essential.

Do you know how to get the most out of your holiday leftovers? Once dinner is done, it's "go time". Leftovers that sit out for longer than two hours after cooking are a food safety no-no. So, once you are finished eating, start cooling and storing leftovers as soon as possible.

If anything is left out too long or looks questionable, play it safe and throw it out. Label everything with a date to remind you how long it's been in the refrigerator or freezer.

When it comes to food storage, smaller, shallow containers work best. And store everything by itself. Turkey and stuffing last up to four days in the refrigerator; gravy lasts two days. This means turkey and stuffing, mixed WITH gravy, lasts only two days.

Cut turkey into thin slices, wrap tightly in small portions, and place in the refrigerator for up to four days. You can also freeze it; frozen turkey should keep its flavor for up to four months.

It's easy to simply top off the side dish bowls with plastic. If you do, you should eat them in less than four days. Instead, place them in small, shallow, air-tight containers so they cool down quickly. They'll last four days in the fridge, or you can freeze them and save them for up to four months.

Now that you know how to store your leftovers safely, you can look up some creative leftover recipes. For more details about safe food storage, watch


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