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Here's how long each type of Thanksgiving leftover is safe to eat

How to enjoy your Thanksgiving leftovers without making yourself sick.

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Food safety experts say If you want any of that yummy Thanksgiving dinner to last, the key is to get it off the table and in the fridge within two hours after dinner.

But even then, there's a limit to long you can hang on to the stuff.

Last year we actually had a chef and scientist team up to test how long holiday meals last. The first to spike in bacteria levels will be your turkey. That's good through Saturday maybe Sunday.


Then it's time to say good bye to the wet stuff - like mash potatoes and stuffing. By Sunday or Monday morning, there will be enough bacteria to cause stomach cramps and diarrhea.

What last the longest are fruits and veggies. In our test, they were still safe to eat up to 12 days later!

If you want the food to last longer, there are a couple of tricks. First don't put it up in the fridge hot. You can make an ice bath in the sink to cool things down before putting them in the fridge. And shallow plastic containers grows bacteria slower than the deeper ones.

So you can keep a lid on food going bad by breaking it up into multiple containers.

Happy Thanksgiving.


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