LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The table has been cleared, your family members have left, and now it’s time to enjoy what some consider the best part of Thanksgiving: the leftovers. Before you dig in, you may want to make sure that those leftovers are still safe to eat. Here are some guidelines for those Thanksgiving staples from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Turkey is safe to eat for up to four days when you keep it in the fridge. If you move it to the freezer, it will last up to four months before it starts to dry out.
You can enjoy your turkey with that leftover gravy for the same time frame – 4 days in the fridge or four months in the freezer. The best way to reheat gravy, according to the U.S. Department of Health, is to bring it to a rolling boil on the stove.
These starchy staples will keep for four days in the fridge as well. If you don’t think you’ll finish them by then, don’t worry. Potatoes and yams will keep for another two months in the freezer.
Stuffing will keep for four days in the fridge and will last around two to three months in the freezer.
Cranberry sauce will last a bit longer. Homemade sauce will last 7 to 10 days in the fridge, while the canned variety will still be good after two weeks. Freezing isn’t recommended for this dish, so enjoy it while you can!
We can’t forget about dessert! Fruit pies are good on the counter for around two days. After that, pop them in the fridge and they’ll keep for another two days.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says to make sure you cover and rotate your food if you’re reheating it in the microwave. Whether you refrigerate or freeze your leftovers, make sure to reheat them to 165 degrees before you eat them.
If you aren't sure if your leftovers are still good, don't risk it. When in doubt, throw it out.