Whether your team wins or loses Super Bowl LIV, you probably have leftovers — leftovers that will be consumed as you watch your team’s highlights the next day or consumed  as you try to forget your team’s loss by watching Monday night’s episode of “The Bachelor.”

Here are some Food Safety tips from the USDA on how to keep your celebrating on track or keep post-game woes from getting worse.

Avoid bacterial growth

  • Divide perishable food items into smaller portions or pieces, place in a shallow container and refrigerate (or freeze) within two hours after the party.
  • Most refrigerated leftovers must be used within three to four days or place in the freezer.
  • Use the Cold Food Storage chart to know how long to store food in the refrigerator to avoid spoilage.

Take care of the staples

  • Chicken Wings are safe to eat for 3 -4 days in the refrigerator.
  • Chili should be reheated to 160 degrees F for ground beef chili and 165 degrees F for ground turkey chili. And kept at a holding temperature of 140 degrees F. Chili will stay good as long as the meat in the dish does, 3-4 days in the refrigerator for meat and poultry.
  • Pizza is safe to eat for 3-4 days if refrigerated at 40 degrees or below.
  • Guacamole will also be safe to eat for 3-4 days if put in a container and put in the refrigerator.


  • If food is being heated in the microwave, ensure that the contents are evenly dispersed. Since microwaved food can have cold spots, stir food evenly until the food has reached 165 degrees F in multiple places.
  • Reheat sauces, soups and gravies by bringing them to a rolling boil.
  • Do not use slow cookers for reheating.
  • USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service recommends using a stove, microwave or a conventional oven to reheat leftovers.
  • Leftovers are safe to eat once they have reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  •  If you decided to freeze your leftovers, use the Safe Defrosting Methods when you want to reheat.

Throw out anything left out too long

  • Discard all perishable foods, such as meat, poultry, eggs and casseroles, left at room temperature longer than 2 hours; 1 hour in air temperatures above 90 degrees F.  There are some exceptions to this rule: such as cookies, crackers, bread and  whole fruits.

For more information call the USDA Meat and Poultry hotline at 888-674-6854 Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, or email or chat at AskKaren.gov.

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