How long can I store my turkey leftovers during the holidays? And is there any particular way I should store them?
Proper cooking and storage are critical to maintain healthy food. Following the appropriate steps can help eliminate bacteria and other harmful food handling concerns.
Here are some suggestions by the Partnership for Food Safety Education, which is collaborating with federal agencies on food safety during the holidays:
Remove the stuffing and carve the extra turkey meat from the bones. Within two hours, store leftover turkey in shallow containers and put in the refrigerator or the freezer. Use cooked leftover turkey, stuffing and gravy within 3-4 days. Cooked turkey keeps for 3-4 months in the freezer. When using leftovers, reheat the foods thoroughly to 165 °F or until hot and steaming; bring gravy to a boil before serving.
Even when refrigerated properly (at 40 °F), leftovers should be eaten, frozen or discarded within 3 to 4 days.
For other tips and information, call toll free 1-888-723-3366 to the Food and Drug Administration or visit: http://www.holidayfoodsafety.org/.