Properly Saving Thanksgiving Leftovers so You Don’t Get Sick!

Photo cred: InaFrenzy on Flickr.

Photo cred: InaFrenzy on Flickr.

 

Thanksgiving is one of Molly Maid’s favorite holidays. We love any opportunity to take time in expressing gratitude with family and friends while enjoying a beautiful meal. Often times, Thanksgiving preparation takes several days while consuming it takes under an hour. But many of us also know that Thanksgiving doesn’t have to end on the fourth Thursday of November. Thanksgiving leftovers can keep the holiday spirit going for days after the celebration is done. But proper storing and saving of your leftovers is important to ensuring it will be safe to eat later. This year, review Molly Maid’s guide to properly storing your Thanksgiving leftovers so you don’t get sick:

According to the Food Network, cooling your food down as soon as possible will help ensure your leftovers remain safe to eat later. Pack your leftover food into airtight, shallow containers—this will help the food cool down faster, giving the food less time to grow any unwanted bacteria. It is important to transfer your food into sealed containers instead of simply wrapping your serving dish in plastic wrap. This is a very important step to keep your food not only safe from bacteria, but as fresh as possible.

Another very important step to ensure your family doesn’t get sick is to throw out the leftovers at the appropriate time. Even if the leftovers still smell and look okay, there may be bacteria growing that could make you sick. StillTasty put together a handy guide that shows the leftover life span of each traditional Thanksgiving treat. Turkey, for example, should stay good in the fridge for up to four days after being cooked while cranberry sauce can last up to 14. Check out the full guide here.

Freezing leftovers is also a great option if you’re like many of us who tend to severely overestimate the amount of food you will consume. Again, it is very important that your containers are airtight when you freeze any type of food. This will safeguard your food from bacteria and freezer burn. Freezer bags are also a good option, but need to be securely closed. Tip: Write the date of when your leftovers were prepared and the date they should be consumed on each freezer ready container. Leftovers tend to get lost in the sea of frozen goods, so it will be a good reminder when you’re in need of a quick meal.

With this guide in mind, we hope you can all enjoy a healthy, happy and safe Thanksgiving!

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by Molly Maid