FCPH: Thanksgiving leftover food safety

The Record-Herald

For many of us, Thanksgiving leftovers offer a break from cooking after spending days preparing, cooking, and serving a meal for loved ones. But how long are they safe to eat?

When kept in the refrigerator, Thanksgiving leftovers can be enjoyed for up to four days. This means you have until the Monday after Thanksgiving to eat them, or you can place them in the freezer to eat later. If you store leftovers in the freezer, they will remain of the best quality for up to two to six months.

Frozen food stays safe indefinitely, though the quality may decrease over time. When reheating leftovers, keep in mind that they should be reheated thoroughly to an internal temperature of 165 °F.

Looking for a healthy way to use up those leftovers? Try one of these:

Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes

Leftover Thanksgiving salad


– 1 cup shredded cooked turkey

– ½ cup cubed cooked ham

– ½ cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped

– 1 hard-cooked egg, diced

– 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves or 1 tbsp. dried.

– ¼ cup light mayonnaise

– salt and ground black pepper to taste

Nutrition Information: 181 calories; protein 14.7g; carbohydrates 17.3g; fat 5.5g; cholesterol 89.2mg; sodium 438.9mg.

Directions: Combine the first five ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir in the mayonnaise, and then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Ham and Turkey Frittata


– 8 eggs

– 2 cups mushrooms – diced

– 10 leaves sage – chopped or ¾ tsp dried

– 1 sprig rosemary – chopped or 1 tsp dried

– 1 sprig oregano leaves – chopped or 1 tsp dried

– 2 cups leftover or pre-cooked ham or turkey – or one cup of each

– Pinch of salt and pepper

– 1 medium sweet potato – cut into small squares

– Olive oil


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Whisk eggs together in a large bowl.

3. Add mushrooms, sage, rosemary, oregano, ham/turkey and salt & pepper to the eggs and mix.

4. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat and add in olive oil.

5. Once the skillet is hot, add in the sweet potato. Cook for 8 minutes, stirring a few times to cook both sides of the potato squares.

6. Add the egg mixture to the skillet and stir to mix.

7. Carefully transfer the pan using pot holders to the oven.

8. Cook for 35 minutes.

9. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information: 223 calories, 18g protein, 6g carbs, 13g fat, 4g saturated fat, 1 g fiber.

Post-holiday fitness

A post-holiday walk can help get you back on track both physically and mentally. Walking has many well-researched health benefits.

Walking after a meal can help with digestion and improve blood sugar levels. When you walk, your heart pumps more blood throughout your body, benefiting muscles, limbs and organs. Better circulation contributes to the health of your vascular system. Walking also contributes to better sleep and increases energy levels.

Walking can reduce stress by causing your body to release endorphins and serotonin. Walking with a friend or loved one allows us to experience meaningful connections. If you experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), in addition to exposure to natural sunlight, walking has been shown to help with mild to moderate seasonal depression.

Finally, walking can help older generations by providing arthritis relief and strengthening abdominal and back muscles to decrease chronic back pain.

The staff at Fayette County Public Health hopes that everyone enjoyed the holiday with family, friends, or loved ones. The health department will reopen on Monday, Nov. 28 at 8 a.m.


The Record-Herald