Tuesday Toss Your Thanksgiving Leftovers Today
Monday: If it’s not frozen, forget it — it’s not worth the potential problems
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. If you’re like me, after dinner — you have a fridge full of leftovers and your weekend was a Turkey Day food fest: Friday — you started with a Thanksgiving inspired breakfast, brunch or lunch and then, snacked and grazed until Thanksgiving dinner Part 2.
Saturday and Sunday — you probably continued nibbling and might have made some Turkey day modifications and mash-ups like the popular Thanksgiving Gobbler with layers of turkey, dressing, gravy and a smattering of cranberry sauce. You washed it down with some eggnog or coquito and now you’re finishing the last desserts.
But it’s Monday and if your leftovers aren’t in the freezer it’s time to clean-out, throw-out and move those leftovers to the trash.
Now I hate wasting food more than anyone, but it’s just not safe to eat leftovers after 3–4 days. Being that many people start cooking on Wednesday — Sunday should actually have been the last day. According to FoodSafety.gov:
How long do the turkey and trimmings stay safe in the refrigerator or freezer?
- The answer is simple: leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for three to four days. This means you have until the Monday after Thanksgiving to eat all those delicious leftovers or place them in the freezer to enjoy later. If you store leftovers in the freezer, they will be of best quality within 2–6 months.
- Not enough consumers know that food can become unsafe in the refrigerator after four days. In fact, 31 percent of participants in our recent research indicated they would eat leftovers kept longer than four days in the refrigerator. After four days, spoilage bacteria can cause food to develop a bad smell or taste.
Please know that food doesn’t have to smell or taste bad to be unsafe and make you sick. I’ve had some delicious meals that landed me in the emergency room.
Therefore, that last fork-full of sides or meat isn’t worth the tummy troubles and potential food poisoning.
So say goodbye to Thursday’s dinner — if you wasted a lot of food — adjust your menu next time remember to freeze more after your next large meal.
Besides — this is the holiday season. There’s Christmas, New Years and other celebrations to get your grub on and make your holiday favs again or plan a whole new menu of sweet and savory dishes and treats.
It’s better to be safe than sorry — I’ve had food poisoning and NO food is worth that pain, suffering or hospital visit.
Thank you for reading.