'Dishes can wait, but the food can't': Here's how long Thanksgiving leftovers can stay out

The holidays are known for quality time with family, traditional recipes and the not so fun food poisoning outbreaks if you don’t refrigerate your leftovers quickly.

According to the CDC, food poisonings from Clostridium perfringens bacteria occur the most in November and December.

Why? The bacteria grows on food left out at room temperature and most outbreaks are linked to turkey and roast beef.

“Food-borne illnesses are no joke,” Lisa Yakas, a senior project manager at NSF International, told USA TODAY previously.

Food poisoning symptoms can show up 6 to 24 hours after eating and ruin some of your holiday time. Here’s how to avoid it:

How long should Thanksgiving food remain out? Less than 2 hours

Leftovers shouldn’t be left at room temperature for longer than two hours. So after you’re done eating your holiday meal, getting the food put away should be a priority, Yakas says.

“The dishes can wait, but the food can’t,” she says.

When you’re putting away leftovers, take the time to portion them out into small containers, preferably ones that are airtight, Yakas says.

Looking for a turkey replacement?:Chefs share their tasty Thanksgiving alternatives

Thanksgiving dinner:How are inflation and higher grocery prices affecting your holiday meal?

Putting large masses of food into a refrigerator or freezer is ineffective because it takes a long time for the food to cool, Yakas says.

How long is cooked turkey good for? Just a few days, unless it’s frozen

Once the leftovers are put away in the refrigerator, you have only a few days to eat them before they become a safety risk.

If stored in a refrigerator, leftovers can stay good for three to four days. If they’re stored in a freezer, it’s three to four months.

It’s best to label the food with an expiration date when you put it away, to help you keep track of when it’s no longer safe to eat, Yakas recommends.

That’s especially true of food that you put in the freezer, as it’s tough to remember how long food has been stored months into the future.

What temperature should your food be? 165 degrees

Putting away leftovers correctly won’t keep you healthy if you don’t cook the food correctly the first time.

There’s only one number to remember whether you’re cooking the food the first time or reheating it: 165 degrees.

The CDC recommends heating all leftovers to 165 degrees before eating them.

Follow reporter Asha Gilbert @Coastalasha. Email: agilbert@usatoday.com.

News Related


No. 7 Michigan keeps Purdue at bay in 3rd for 79-66 victory

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Naz Hillmon scored 32 points and had 12 rebounds, and No. 7 Michigan dominated the paint in a 79-66 win over Purdue on Monday night. ... Read more »

Nygaard heads home to coach Phoenix Mercury

PHOENIX (AP) — Vanessa Nygaard is headed home to coach the Phoenix Mercury. A Scottsdale native, Nygaard was announced as the 10th coach in Mercury history on Monday after a ... Read more »

Chief: 3 Baltimore firefighters killed in vacant home blaze

On Location: January 24, 2022 Catch up on the developing stories making headlines.The Associated Press BALTIMORE — Three Baltimore firefighters were killed and a fourth was injured when part of ... Read more »

Varney: Biden has himself to blame for this ‘back to the wall' situation

Biden eyes sounding thousands of troops to Eastern Europe to counter Russia Read more »

Man recorded naked girl, charges say

Jan. 24—NEW ULM — A New Ulm man is suspected of using his cellphone to record a child he knows in a bathroom. Jesse James Gullickson, 35, was charged with ... Read more »

States, DC sue Google over user location tracking

The District of Columbia and three states are suing Google. They allege the internet search giant deceives consumers and invades their privacy by making it nearly impossible for them to ... Read more »

The Latest: Nadal, Barty in quarterfinals at Melbourne Park

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The Latest at the Australian Open on Tuesday (all times local): 11:30 a.m. French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova opens quarterfinal action at Melbourne Park when she ... Read more »

'It still feels unreal': 'Jeopardy!' champ Amy Schneider becomes No. 2 all-time winner with 39 games

Reigning “Jeopardy!” champ Amy Schneider is celebrating another milestone: The second-longest winning streak in the quiz show’s history. Schneider, an engineering manager from Oakland, California, on Monday broke Matt Amodio’s ... Read more »

US President Joe Biden caught calling reporter a 'stupid son of a b***h' at news conference

The US president's remark was prompted by a question from a Fox News reporter about inflation being a potential political liability in the midterms. Read more »

We asked Walmart, Amazon and others about hiring for diversity. What we found may surprise you

The new database details the workforce demographics of some of America's most iconic brands, including GM, Home Depot and Walmart, which have never previously disclosed such data voluntarily. Read more »

Companies launch anti-trafficking campaign tied to Super Bowl

Experts say sex and labor trafficking should receive attention year-round, not just during big sporting events. Read more »

Guatemala sentences 5 ex-patrol members for 1982 rapes

The Associated PressA woman gives roses to the victims of human rights violations during Guatemala’s civil war outside the Supreme Court in Guatemala City, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. A decision ... Read more »

BNSF files federal lawsuit to block unions from striking

The national freight rail company hauled 4 million carloads of industrial products and agricultural commodities in 2020. Read more »

Flyers' Yandle ties NHL Iron Man mark at 964 straight games

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Keith Yandle tied retired center Doug Jarvis on Monday night for the NHL record of 964 consecutive games played. The 35-year-old Yandle started his ... Read more »

Urban Meyer calls losing in the NFL 'the worst experience I've had in my professional lifetime'

After an amazingly successful college coaching career, Urban Meyer found the professional ranks much tougher, failing to make it through even one season as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. ... Read more »

Putin 'won't stop' with Ukraine: Why Americans should care about Russia's aggression against its neighbor

WASHINGTON – The U.S. was still deep in diplomatic discussions with Russia over the crisis in Ukraine when President Joe Biden succinctly summed up what’s at stake. Another Russian invasion ... Read more »

2022 tax advice: How to get child tax credit cash, charitable deductions and free help

Many words could be used to describe the outlook for the 2022 tax season ranging from milquetoast terms, like challenging or problematic, all the way to more honest forecasts, such ... Read more »

US names 222 to Olympic team; 4 athletes are 5-timers

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The 222-person U.S. Olympic roster revealed Monday includes four athletes making their fifth trip to the Games: Shaun White and Lindsey Jacobellis in snowboarding, Katie ... Read more »

Biden answers inflation query by calling Fox reporter SOB

The Associated PressPresident Joe Biden responds to reporter’s questions during a meeting on efforts to lower prices for working families, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, ... Read more »

A look at major soccer-related crowd disasters

At least six people died in a crush outside a stadium hosting a game at Africa’s top soccer tournament in Cameroon on Monday, a local government official said. Here is ... Read more »

Dick Vitale won't call rest of college basketball season for ESPN due to throat issue

ESPN college basketball announcer Dick Vitale says he will miss calling the rest of the season as he continues to deal with a throat issue. Vitale, who was recently told ... Read more »

Taylor Swift fires back at Damon Albarn's claim she doesn't write her songs: 'Completely false'

Taylor Swift has got bad blood with another musician. The “Folklore” artist fired back at Damon Albarn on Twitter Monday after the Blur frontman claimed in an interview with the ... Read more »

Businesses expect strong sales this year — but higher prices for almost everything

"Wage inflation is becoming a real problem for companies that employ a lot of people,” said one analyst. Read more »

No 'surrender': New York Mayor Eric Adams lays out gun violence plan after officer killed

NEW YORK – Jason Rivera became a police officer to improve the relationship between the police in his hometown and its communities, he wrote in a letter while he was ... Read more »

Biden lashes out at Fox reporter in hot mic moment

President Joe Biden was caught on a hot mic Monday calling a Fox News reporter a vulgarity after the journalist asked him a question about inflation. It was Biden’s second ... Read more »

ESPN's Vitale says he won't call games for rest of season

BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) — Dick Vitale announced Monday that he will not be appearing on ESPN for the remainder of the college basketball season due to ongoing treatment for precancerous ... Read more »

Seven Days of 1961: Live events trailer

This series of events is part of USA TODAY’s “Seven Days of 1961” project, a multimedia series spotlighting seven pivotal civil rights protests. Read more »

USA TODAY live 1961 events highlight civil rights wins, showcase musicians, activists, poets

Who gets to vote and why? Who is standing in the way of progress? How can we work together to create a more equitable nation? USA TODAY grappled with these ... Read more »

'Stupid son of a b***h': Biden hits out at reporter after being asked about inflation

Read more »

Bob Dylan sold entire recording catalog to Sony

Bob Dylan performs at the 44th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in February 2002. NEW YORK – Bob Dylan sold his entire back catalog of recorded music along with ... Read more »

Gucci's elegy to the golden hour

The Alchemist’s Garden collection. The 12th scent in Gucci Beauty's The Alchemist's Garden collection, A Gloaming Night Eau de Parfum, pays homage to the fleeting moment between dusk and evening, ... Read more »

Mark Chinese New Year with Swatch's Big Bold

Swatch is making wrists colourful with stylish Chinese New Year Special timepieces that have symbolic auspicious patterns to commemorate the Chinese New Year as the ox hands the baton to ... Read more »

Former Ravens coach Brian Billick named offensive analyst and advisor for Arizona State football program

Add yet another veteran of the NFL to the Arizona State football coaching staff. The newest addition is that of Brian Billick. The head coach of the Super Bowl 35-winning ... Read more »

Exhibition explores China, Ayutthaya relations

Siam Society is holding “China For Ayutthaya”, a one-day exhibition on Chinese exports to Siam, on Thursday at 10.30am. Participants will be taken back in time to the Ayutthaya era ... Read more »

Big-hearted artist's works on display at River City

Lollies For The Sinagamas by Bill Bensley. photo courtesy of River City Bangkok Amusing and enchanting artworks by internationally acclaimed architect Bill Bensley will be on display during “Love — ... Read more »

Shu Uemura goes volcanic for latest collection

Shu Uemura is getting girls ready for the Chinese New Year with lips in volcanic red shades. The 2022 Rouge Unlimited Lush Lava Reds collection features Kinu Satin lipstick and ... Read more »

How much is too much? Local experts discuss if there is such thing as over-immunisation and the possibility of herd immunity

After the government approved the resumption of the Test & Go programme starting next week signalling a strong desire to restore the country's tourism and overall economy, the Ministry of ... Read more »

Manic Monday on Wall Street over Fed fears

Stocks recovered from big early losses Monday as investors jumped in before the closing bell. The Dow Jones Industrial Average swung 1,217 points during the day. (Jan. 24) Read more »

New NYC mayor unveils plan to stem gun violence

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has announced the city will step up efforts to seize illegal guns and institute a multi-pronged plan to tackle the issue. (Jan 24) Read more »

Penguins' Teddy Blueger out 6-to-8 weeks after jaw surgery

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Penguins forward Teddy Blueger will miss 6-to-8 weeks after having surgery to repair a fractured jaw. Blueger was injured when Winnipeg’s Brenden Dillon hit him into ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic