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Restaurants tend to provide larger portions than their customers might prepare for themselves if they cooked at home. While that's good news for fans of leftovers, it's important that those leftovers be eaten before the risk of food poisoning increases.


According to the Mayo Clinic, leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for three to four days. It's important that diners recognize and respect that timeline, as they can suffer from food poisoning if they consume foods after that period even if the food gives no indication that it has begun to spoil. The Mayo Clinic notes that the bacteria that causes food borne illnesses is unlikely to change the taste, smell or appearance of the food. So even days-old food that looks fine and passes the smell test likely isn't safe to eat. Refrigerate leftovers immediately, as bacteria can quickly multiply when foods are kept at temperatures between 40 F and 140 F. Diners who are uncertain if they will eat their leftovers within three to four days should freeze the foods immediately when they get home.

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Tags: Food & Home, Health, Safety

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