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 other 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.

3 thoughts on “How Long Do Leftovers Last?

  1. You have four hours actually, that’s not four hours from the time you cooked it, total. So you have to count the time, it was sitting out in the first place.

    so you have four hours from the time it was cooked. so if it’s out on the table for two hours, then you put it in the fridge. it’s only fine for another two hours.

    That’s how long it takes for bacteria to cultivate to unsafe levels. I took food safely certification at a fancy hotel school. it was my first career.

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