Health tips for Thanksgiving leftovers

The day after Thanksgiving can be a tough transition for many people in the kitchen.

This is especially true for cooks who have forgotten to put the leftovers away.

Translation? The potential for wasted food and wasted repeat turkey sandwiches.

Even if you are one of the lucky ones who remembered to keep the leftovers, did you do it in the proper way?

Luckily, a health expert takes us through the process of storing your leftovers from Thanksgiving in the proper manner.

Diana Karavasilis with the Brownsville Health Department gives some great advice, such as food handling tips and proper temps to keep your family coming back for more leftovers!

Leftovers Tips By Real Simple Magazine:

  • Store all leftovers in airtight, leakproof clear containers or wraps.
  • Divide leftovers into small, flat containers so that they cool faster. (Some bacteria spores survive the cooking process and may germinate if the food is at room temperature long enough.)
  • Refrigerate leftovers within two hours of cooking. And there's no need to wait for piping-hot foods to cool down before storing them*modern refrigerators can handle the heat.
  • Remove the stuffing from the turkey and refrigerate it in a separate container. Left together, they may not cool fast enough, which can be unsafe.
  • Don't refrigerate leftover cranberry sauce or other foods in cans. Once a can is opened, residual metal on the rim can leach into food and leave a metallic taste.
  • Don't stuff the refrigerator too full. Cool air needs to circulate to keep food at a safe temperature.

For a comprehensive cold-storage chart, consult the federal food-safety website,