Leftover Safety

By: Tina Stein
By: Tina Stein

The only way you can tell Jenni Zasada had a full house last night, is by looking in her fridge.

"To me leftovers taste better the 2nd time around it's like you had all that work and then it's done it only a few minutes to warm it back up and it's really good," Zasada says.

Zasada says she's reheated last night's leftovers several times today, making just one serving at a time. This helps avoid getting food poisoning, which dietitians say sicken 400,000 Americans each year.

"If you're gonna be reheating leftovers take out what you're gonna eat heat it up to 165 degrees and then keep the other in the refrigerator," says Dietitian Diane Simon.

But Zasada's leftover eating days are almost expired.

"Turkey, chicken, meats you could keep for 3-5 days if it's kept in the refrigerator," Simon says.

Or they can be frozen for 2 to 3 months. And as for veggies, dietitians say eat them now, because tomorrow they'll be bad. But don't over pack your fridge, cold air needs to flow throughout.

Dietitians say you want to put lids on your leftovers, that way the different temperatures will not cause bacteria to grow.

And it's important how you arrange your leftovers. Put fruit and veggies on top, meat down low and raw goods on the bottom. This helps avoid cross-contamination. And makes for a longer shelf-life for leftover lovers like Zasada.

Some other helpful tips, make sure you boil leftover gravy and debone turkey before putting it in the fridge. The carcass harbors the most bacteria, so just refrigerate the meat in a covered container


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