You’ve been storing your Christmas leftovers wrong – here’s how to avoid risk of food poisoning

Christmas dinner is great, but these leftovers are even more desirable.

However, you may be storing your leftovers incorrectly, which can lead to illness.

You may have stored your Christmas leftovers incorrectly, which could be disastrous


You may have stored your Christmas leftovers incorrectly, which could be disastrousPhoto credit: Gousto

According to, the federal government estimates that about 1 in 6 Americans suffer from food poisoning each year.

Unfortunately, these cases affect about 48 million Americans and result in about 3,000 deaths.

But there are ways to save your Christmas leftovers to avoid becoming part of that statistic.

Below we explain how to store frozen turkey and vegetables and other holiday items.

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How to freeze and reheat cooked turkey

If you’ve cooked up a nice turkey dinner for the Christmas holiday and want to extend the celebration, you can freeze your cooked meal.

Make sure your cooked turkey is completely cool before placing it in the freezer.

Turkey can maintain good quality for 3-6 months if stored properly.

If you are thawing cooked turkey, be sure to eat it within 24 hours.

You also want to make sure when reheating it is fully heated through.

Otherwise, you put yourself at risk of food poisoning.

Another rule of thumb? Do not reheat food more than once.

By following these rules and treating the turkey properly along the way, you will reduce the risk of food poisoning and illness.

Other Christmas Items

Cooked vegetables — including Brussels sprouts, potatoes, and carrots — can be frozen after they’re fully cooked.

If you have leftover uncooked vegetables, consider blanching them before freezing.

To do this, place the vegetables in a blanching basket and place it in boiling water.

Put a lid on the blanching basket and let it sit.

Depending on what veggies you’re blanching, the time will vary, so be sure to review best practices.

Note that not all vegetables need to be blanched before freezing. So consult an expert first.

Store food safely has a number of tips on how to keep food safe at every step.

As a tip when freezing food, it’s a good idea to portion it first before freezing.

In this way, you only defrost the required amount instead of a large amount.

To protect yourself and your family when cooking at home, it is recommended to follow the following four steps: clean, separate, cook and cool.

You should also wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before, during and after preparing food to avoid contamination and germs.

It’s a good idea to keep meat, seafood, and eggs separate from other foods when shopping, storing, and preparing to cook.

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Use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat to make sure it’s cooked properly.

Ensure perishable foods are refrigerated within two hours when kept at room temperature. Store at temperatures above 90°F within one hour as harmful bacteria can multiply quickly. You’ve been storing your Christmas leftovers wrong – here’s how to avoid risk of food poisoning

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