Leftovers 101

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Leftovers 101

Many of us rely on leftovers to get though our busy week! Use the tips below to safely handle leftovers and protect your family from foodborne illness.

  • Place your leftovers in a shallow container, less than two inches deep, to cool quickly because bacteria grows rapidly at warmer temperatures.
  • Refrigerate foods within two hours of preparation. This rule changes to one hour when the temperature is above 90°F. Remember, the clock starts ticking as soon as your food is done cooking.
  • Try to use leftovers within two to three days or freeze them for longer storage.
  • It’s very important to reheat leftovers to an internal temperature of 165°F before you eat them.
  • Always use a food thermometer to verify the temperature of your leftovers.

Click here to read the USDA’s tips on leftovers and food safety.