How long deserve to you safely store leftovers in the refrigerator?

Answer from Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.

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Leftovers deserve to be kept for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. Be sure to eat castle within the time. After ~ that, the risk of food poisoning increases. If you don"t think you"ll have the ability to eat leftovers within four days, frozen them immediately.

Food poisoning — likewise called foodborne illness — is led to by harmful germs, such together bacteria in contaminated food. Because bacteria generally don"t readjust the taste, odor or look of food, girlfriend can"t tell whether a food is dangerous to eat. So if you"re in doubt about a food"s safety, it"s finest to throw it out.


Fortunately, most cases of food poisoning can be impede with appropriate cooking and also food handling. To practice food safety, quickly refrigerate perishable foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, dairy and also eggs. Don"t let them sit an ext than two hrs at usual room temperature or an ext than one hour at temperatures above 90 F (32 C).

Uncooked foods, such together cold salads or sandwiches, likewise should be consumed or refrigerated promptly. Her goal is to alleviate the time a food is in the "danger zone" — in between 40 and also 140 F (4 and also 60 C) — once bacteria can easily multiply.

When you"re all set to eat leftovers, reheat castle on the range or in a conventional oven or microwave till the inner temperature get 165 F (74 C). Slow cookers aren"t recommended because that reheating leftovers as these tools may not heat foods hot enough to death bacteria.


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