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After preparing such a large feast for thanksgiving, most people are bound to have leftovers, but how long are those leftovers good for? It’s normal to want to make your thanksgiving leftovers last as long as possible so you can get the most out of them, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture says certain foods have a time limit on them.

Turkey, stuffing, and gravy are among the foods only good 3-to-4 days after the holiday. Longer than that will risk the growth of a germ called listeria in your food, according to the Center for Disease Control. Listeria most often affects people with weak immune systems, and often causes fever and diarrhea.

A lot of people don’t know this might be hard-pressed to throw away their
leftovers after such a short amount of time. One person who doesn’t want to throw away their leftovers is BYU student, Thomas Spencer.

“We spend a good amount of time preparing for this wonderful meal and we put a lot of work into it, even hours and days in advance preparing. And once we’re done, we have tons of leftovers. We usually make a lot more food than is necessary for this certain meal and we don’t really want to waste all the work we put in. I mean, who wants to do that?” said Spencer.

There are several ways to help your Thanksgiving leftovers to last and prevent them from growing any bacteria. Firstly, don’t leave your leftovers on the counter for more than 2 hours at room temperature.

Another thing you can do is put them in the freezer, where they can last between
2 and 6 months. Also, dividing your food into smaller portion sizes and keeping them in sealed containers helps them to last longer.

Everyone wants to enjoy their Thanksgiving leftovers but the most important thing is to stay safe and healthy. So, if you haven’t already thrown out your leftovers, do it now and keep these tips in mind to enjoy your leftovers longer next year.

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