In general, I hate leftovers, but there are a few exceptions --- pizza, lo mein, and Thanksgiving food.  Admit it, there are few things better than a sandwich made of leftover turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce topped with gravy.

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

In my family, Thanksgiving leftovers go quick, but if that's not the case in your home, you may be asking yourself, "how long will the leftovers stay good?"

According to,

  • Refrigerate leftovers within two hours to prevent bacteria from growing on the food.
  • Store leftovers in shallow pans or containers to decrease cooling time. This prevents the food from spending too much time at unsafe temperatures (between 40 °F to 140 °F).
  • Do not store stuffing inside a leftover turkey. Remove the stuffing from the turkey, and refrigerate the stuffing and the meat separately.
  • Avoid consuming leftovers that have been left in the refrigerator for longer than 3 or 4 days. Use the freezer to store leftovers for longer periods of time.
  • Keep leftovers in a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs if the food is traveling home with a guest who lives more than two hours away.

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