Food Safety: General Information

Center for Science in the Public Interest

Rules for Leftovers: 2 Hours — 2 Inches — 4 Days

2 Hours from oven to refrigerator.
Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within 2 hours of cooking the food. Otherwise throw it away.
2 Inches thick to cool it quick.
Store food at a shallow depth - about 2 inches - to speed chilling.
4 Days in the refrigerator - otherwise freeze it.
Use leftovers from the refrigerator within 4 days, except stuffing and gravy, which should be used within 2 days.