Sorry, but Your Thanksgiving Leftovers Don’t Last Nearly As Long As You Think

Photo: Stocksy/Ivan Solis
If you're planning on reliving your melt-in-your-mouth good Thanksgiving dinner by eating exclusively leftovers all week long, you might want to rethink that decision. Sure, eating leftovers days after the fact seems like it would be totally fine, but just because it still looks as fresh and tasty as it did on day one doesn't mean it is. (Nope, not even the Paleo pumpkin pie.)

Unfortunately, the expiration date on leftovers isn't nearly as long as you think. According to the USDA, you can only keep them in the refrigerator for three to four days before bacteria starts to take over your feast. So if you ate your big meal on Thanksgiving, that means today is the day you've gotta make the decision to eat everything or toss it out, because if you do decide to try your luck tomorrow, you might be setting yourself up for getting sick. And who wants to spend their first week back at work with a nasty foodborne illness?

Now, not all hope is lost. As long as it's not over four days, you can still freeze your leftovers today so you can enjoy 'em later. The USDA says the quality is still A+ as long as you don't eat anything after six months. But again, you have to freeze them today in order to ensure that you're not freezing bacteria with it, too.

Other than that, it looks like it's back to your regular meal-prepping schedule. They'll be plenty more holiday-related food comas (and tasty leftovers to devour!) next month—promise.

Even though Thanksgiving is over, you can still whip up this turmeric pumpkin quinoa oatmeal. Or, make this stunning glazed butternut squash any day of the week.

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