A Word of Caution Concerning Leftovers

Today carries more significance than Black Friday shopping, it is also is the first day to enjoy Thanksgiving Day leftovers. But first a word of caution. Whether you plan to enjoy a cold turkey sandwich or a slice of pumpkin pie be sure to take appropriate steps to keep foodborne bacteria at bay.

"A lack of understanding leads many to experience foodborne illnesses during the holidays," said Brenda Jones, R.D., Baylor Medical Center at Irving. "Although most cases are mild and cause symptoms only for a day or two, it can be a very unpleasant few days."

Jones recommends you follow these important tips:

  • Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within two hours of cooking the food
  • Store leftovers in shallow containers (two inches or less)
  • Cut turkey into small pieces, and be sure to refrigerate the turkey and stuffing in separate containers
  • While you might overstuff yourself, don't overstuff your refrigerator; cool air needs to circulate to keep food safe
  • Eat leftover turkey within three to four days or freeze it
  • Always bring leftover gravy to a boil on the stove before serving it

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