Here’s how long you can safely store your Thanksgiving leftovers

3 mins read

Food leftovers are indeed a part of Thanksgiving.

But the U.S. Department of Agriculture said that there is a limitation on how long you can keep that food – including your turkey and some of the cranberry sauce.

Leftovers from the celebration can stay anywhere ranging from three to four days, and can even last for a couple to six months based on where you plan to store it.

The USDA recommends the use of divided containers for different leftovers to make sure that they are stored and kept safe from the formation of harmful bacteria.

Here’s how you store your Thanksgiving leftovers safely, as reported by FOX News:

Cooked turkey

This Thanksgiving favorite can be stored in a fridge for three up to four days.

The storing strategy is also applicable to other meat-based food you had on your Thanksgiving like cooked beef, cooked pork, and cooked chicken. Plant-based food, on the other hand, will sit safely in your fridge for up to a week or in a freezer for five months, the USDA’s FoodKeeper App said.


This holiday leftover can be best consumed or stored in the chilled within three or four days. It can last for two or three months when frozen.

Thanksgiving vegetables

The greens you partake during Thanksgiving, including the green beans, mashed potatoes, and yams can be stored in a fridge to last for three or four days.

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is available in cans or one can opt to make it from their own kitchen. These two options have two different shelf lives.

Canned cranberry sauce can stay in the refrigerator for a week to two after opening, while the homemade ones, also refrigerated, can last up to a week to ten days, the USDA’s FoodKeeper App said.


The USDA said unfinished gravy can safely be stored inside your fridge for three to four days. When placed in a freezer, it can last for four to six months.


The egg, cream, or chiffon-homemade pies can be kept in the fridge for three to four days. Different kinds of pies like pecan, pumpkin, custard and lemon meringue can be stored this way. Meanwhile, fruit pies can be stored at room temperature for one to a couple of days. They can also last a week if they are kept in a fridge

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