How Long Do Leftovers Last?
My sister insists it doesn’t matter how long we leave the cooked turkey out. Isn’t this unsafe? How long is turkey okay to eat after it’s cooked?
—Ruth, Los Angeles
Experts suggest a maximum of two days for all types of leftovers, beginning with the initial refrigeration.
Others suggest that leftovers containing meat should be eaten within one to three days, while some leftovers may last as long as three to five days.
If you freeze the turkey leftovers within 2 days, they will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.
When you reheat them, make sure the temperature rises to at least 165 degrees.
Leftovers shouldn’t be left to set out for more than two hours. If you refrigerate them promptly, they’ll taste better too.