Gobble up your leftover turkey fast to avoid food-borne illnesses, health experts warn

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Even though Thanksgiving is over, you 'll have plenty of holiday reminders thanks to those leftovers stored away in your refrigerator.

Experts say if you've got leftovers you only have just a few days to enjoy before your turkey and all the fixings are no longer safe to eat.

Experts say if have leftover turkey, you have until Sunday to indulge.

If you still want that taste of holiday there is still hope.

Dishes like mashed potatoes and casseroles can be stored and eaten a little longer than a turkey.

You can get away with eating those until Thursday but that's only if those dishes have been stored away in an airtight container, blocking out all moisture that allows bacteria to grow and could lead to foodborne illnesses.

"People suffer from food-borne illnesses a lot more than you think, but most times it's so mild that they don't even realize that they had a foodborne illness.  It's only in the severe cases when the bacteria is so high in whatever you eat that your body doesn't have a chance to resist it or fight it off," says Environmental Health Expert, James C. Davis.

To keep from getting a foodborne illness while enjoying leftovers, health experts say to reheat all those Thanksgiving dishes to 165 degrees.

Doing so will kill off all bacteria.

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