How long can you safely keep Thanksgiving leftovers?

FILE - A plate of roasted turkey and gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and glazed carrots appears in Concord, N.H., on Oct. 2, 2012. The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research looks at the state of the country's Thanksgiving favorites. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead, File) (Matthew Mead, The Associated Press)

HOUSTON – It’s almost time for families and friends to gather and feast on Thanksgiving Day. It’s a day filled with a lot of wonderful food and leftovers.

If you’re not sure how long to keep your leftovers, we’ve got some helpful information to make sure you can enjoy your turkey even after the holiday.

How long can you keep turkey in the refrigerator?

Leftover turkey and trimmings can be kept in the refrigerator for about four days, so you have until the Monday after Thanksgiving to enjoy your turkey, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

You should freeze the rest of your leftovers, and it’s recommended you only preserve them for six months maximum.

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Food safety

Leftovers need to be placed in the fridge or freezer two hours after they’ve been cooked.

You should split and store your leftovers in smaller portions, so they can cool faster.

Food should be placed into the fridge as quickly as you can.

Tips to reheat your leftovers

Frozen leftovers can be reheated without thawing them. You can reheat soups or stews in a saucepan. Casseroles and one-pot meals can be reheated in the oven or microwave too.

Leftovers should be covered when you reheat them, so they are warmed up all the way.

About the Author:

Cynthia Miranda graduated from UT Austin and is a proud Houstonian. She is passionate about covering breaking news and community stories. Cynthia previously covered elections, the historic 2021 Texas winter storm, and other news in East Texas. In addition to writing, she also loves going to concerts, watching movies, and cooking with her family.