Leftover Safety

Reviewed by Eleese Cunningham, RDN


Saving leftovers to eat later is a great way to avoid overeating while also saving money. Before you reheat and eat, follow these simple steps to reduce your risk of food poisoning.


Refrigerate leftovers to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below within two hours. If it's over 90 degrees outside, refrigerate within one hour.


Seal leftovers in a clean, airtight container, and refrigerate at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Large amounts of stew/soup should be stored in shallow, smaller containers to cool faster.

Time To Toss?

Check on the shelf life of leftovers and label leftovers with the expiration date. And remember, when in doubt, throw it out!


To reduce the risk of food poisoning, it's important to reheat leftovers to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Next time you reheat any type of food, use a food thermometer to make sure food reaches the safe minimum internal temperature before you eat.

Learn more about reheating leftovers.

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