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Here are some common questions about leftovers
Q: When I have leftovers what should I do with them?
A: Turkey that is left over should be taken off the bone, cut into smaller portions that will allow for quicker cooling, placed in a shallow dish, covered and refrigerated within 2 hours. Remember to use clean dishes and utensils for cooked food.
Q:  How long can I keep leftovers in fridge?
A:  Once refrigerated the food should be eaten within 3 days. 
Q:  Where should I store the leftover turkey and ham in my fridge?
A:  Store your leftover turkey or ham above and well away from any raw meat. This is to prevent any harmful bacteria spreading from raw food to cooked food.
Q:  What temperature should my fridge be at?
A:  Aim to keep the coldest part of your fridge (usually the bottom shelf above the salad bin) at 5°C or below.  Keep a mercury-free fridge thermometer inside your fridge and check it regularly.       
Q:  What temperature should my freezer be at?
A:  Keeping your freezer at or below -18°C will help maintain the quality of frozen foods. In order to ensure that the temperature inside your freezer does not get too warm, don’t put food in the freezer when it’s still hot. Cool it as quickly as possible (within two hours), cover and put in the freezer. Your freezer should be able to freeze food and keep it frozen over a period of months. Remember to keep the freezer door closed and only open it when necessary.
Q: When I want to use the leftovers – is it safe to reheat them?
A: When reheating leftovers always reheat them until they are piping hot all the way through. Soups, sauces and gravies should be brought to a rolling boil. You should NEVER reheat leftovers more than once.
Q: How do I freeze my leftovers?
A: When freezing leftover food, don’t put large amounts of warm or hot food directly into the freezer, first allow the food to cool, cover it and put it in the freezer within 2 hours.
Q: I have leftover cooked turkey and I put into my freezer. When I defrost this and reheat it - can I freeze it again if I don’t use it all?
A: No – any cooked food which you freeze and then defrost can not be refrozen. When freezing your cooked turkey try to divide it into portions that you can take out and use all at once.
Q: Can I freeze cooked fish?
A: Yes both cooked meat and cooked fish can be frozen.
Q: How long can I keep food in my freezer?
A: We recommend that you do not keep any food in your freezer for longer than 6 months.
Q: Can I freeze smoked salmon?
A: Yes you can freeze smoked salmon. Just remember to freeze it before it has reached its ‘use by’ date as foods that have reached their ‘use by’ date may not be safe to eat.
Q: What do I do with leftover gravy or soups?
A: Gravy, sauces and soups that are left over should be stored in the fridge and kept no longer than 3 days. Bring them to a rolling boil before serving.
If we haven't answered your questions, please call the safefood helpline. ROI - 1850 404 567 or NI - 0800 085 1683
This article was provided by Safefood –



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