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The Food Safety Inspection Service estimates that as many as 33 million illnesses annually are directly linked to food-borne bacteria and microorganisms. It is believed that many of these illnesses are caused by foods that are left out too long at room temperature. To avoid becoming part of these statistics, follow these simple rules regarding leftovers:
*After cooking, place food in covered containers and promptly refrigerate (within 2 hours).
*If a cooked food has been left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours –throw it away.
*Use leftovers within 3-4 days if stored in the refrigerator.
*Use leftovers within 2-3 months if stored in the freezer.
*When reheating leftovers, warm to a temperature of 165°F.
*”If in doubt, throw it out” is still a good rule to live by.