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FSAI issues advice on how long it is safe to eat Christmas leftovers

As much of the country tucks into leftover ham and turkey sandwiches from their Christmas dinner, the Food Safety Authority has warned that leftovers should be used within 2-3 days.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland state: “Leftovers should be used within 2-3 days and stored in the fridge at between 0-5°C during this time.

“They can be reheated as long as they are heated to 70°C or higher. Food should be very hot and steaming before it is served.

“It is important when reheating stews and casseroles that the liquid boils for around 3-5 minutes to ensure the pieces of meat are completely heated through. Leftovers should only be reheated once.”

Meanwhile, people are reminded to be quick about getting the leftovers into the fridge, as Christmas dinners can go off within a couple of hours.

The advice continues: “Following cooking, food which will not be consumed immediately should be cooled as quickly as possible and refrigerated. After cooking, once the steam has evaporated from the food, it should be covered and stored in the fridge.

“Food should not be left out of the fridge to cool down completely. To speed up the cooling process large quantities of food, such as stews and roast joints of meat, should be portioned into smaller lots.

“Do not overload the fridge with warm food as this will raise the overall temperature of the fridge which increases the possibility of bacteria growing in the food.”

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