The Salt Lake County Health Department (SLCoHD) reminds us that how we handle leftovers is as important as how we cook it. Reheating will not always destroy the culpable bacteria, so listen up. The department’s Andrea Gamble recommends the “2 hours/2 inches/4 days” formula: Prepared foods should not be left out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours. To speed chilling, foods should be refrigerated at a shallow depth of about 2 inches. Leftovers should be eaten within 4 days of the feast.
And remember the old rule: Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Harmful bacteria multiply quickly from 40 to 140 degrees F.
If you want to keep your food longer than four days, freeze it as soon as possible. Frozen turkey pieces will maintain quality for four months; stuffing and gravy only for one month and cooked dishes made from leftover turkey will hold for four to six months in the freezer.