SC Johnson Family Economics Blog
Monday, November 17, 2014

Tips for Storing Thanksgiving Leftovers | Family Economics

By

Alison Lewis 

            

Thanksgiving leftovers in bag 

I always spend so much time on my Thanksgiving menu that I can’t wait to not have to cook for the next few days and be able to enjoy the leftovers all weekend long. Leftovers can stay in the refrigerator for 3−4 days and in the freezer for up to 3−4 months. It’s very important to keep your food fresh and store leftovers properly so you get the most of all your hard work and time spent in the kitchen. Here are some of my favorite tips when storing Thanksgiving leftovers:

•    Make room in your refrigerator and freezer ahead of time so that you aren’t shuffling things around to make room for leftovers on Thanksgiving Day.

•    Store leftovers in airtight, leak-proof clear Ziploc® Brand Freezer Bags with the Smart Zip Plus® Seal and/or Ziploc® Brand Containers with One Press Seal. When dividing leftovers be sure to separate them into small, flat containers. This will allow food to cool faster and prevent bacteria.

•    To make it easy for people to locate foods, use a permanent marker to label and date your items.

•    Keep the refrigerator at 35° to 40°F at all times. During Thanksgiving week, you will be opening and closing the refrigerator more often so you may want to set it at a slightly lower temperature.

•    Freeze any leftovers that you do not plan on using within four days.

•    Throw away any hot or cold cuisines that have been left out at room temperature for longer than two hours.

•    Store fruit pies in the refrigerator and leave nut pies out at room temperature.

Additional food storing tips:

•    Leftover turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie can be refrigerated for 3−4 days.

•    Meat combined with gravy and, or gravy alone, should be used within 1−2 days.

•    Cranberry sauce and relish can be stored in the refrigerator for 5−7 days.

•    Cooked vegetables should be eaten within 3−5 days.

What additional food storing tips do you abide by during the holiday season? Please share them in the comments section below!

Photo courtesy of Alison Lewis.

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