DPHSS: Leftovers and Food Safety


Guam – After the big feast, you realized that you cooked too much food, or that you ordered too much at the restaurant.

What should you do with the leftovers food? Safe handling of leftovers is very important to reduce food borne illness. The Department of Public Health and Social Service’s recommendations for Handling leftovers safely.

·         After the meal, immediately refrigerate leftovers such as meat, dressing, gravy or soups in uncovered small shallow containers so they cool quickly.
·         Wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling food.
·         Store all leftovers separately, especially turkey meat, stuffing and gravy.
·         Use refrigerated leftovers within two(2) to three(3) days or freeze right away for later usage
·         Reheat solid leftovers, such as turkey and potatoes, to at least 165˚F. Bring gravy, sauce, and soups to a rolling boil.
·         Eat refrigerated turkey within three (3) to four(4) days; stuffing and gravy within one(1) to two(2) days.
·         If traveling with leftovers, wrap hot food in foil and heavy towels, or carry in insulated container to maintain a temperature of at least 140˚F. Store cold foods ina cooler with ice or frezzer packs to maintain a temperature of 40˚F or below.

Understanding how to deal with leftovers can help you stay healthy. For more information, Please call the Division of Environmental Health at 735-7221.