HEALTH REPORT: Safe food storage

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - With Thanksgiving just a couple days away, we should be planning to properly store our leftovers.
Rhiannon Walker takes a look at the safe storage of food in this week's Health Report.
Families across the country are making plans for their Thanksgiving meal.
But one often over-looked meal plan is what to do with all of the leftover food after the big dinner.
Lindsay Malone is a Registered Dietician at Cleveland Clinic and says that most food will keep for about three to four days in the fridge, but only if you pack it right.
Lindsay Malone; Registered Dietician at Cleveland Clinic>>: "You want to make sure you're packing it into air-tight, shallow containers, and bringing it back to room temperature before you're putting it away."
Malone says that while it is common for people to just throw some foil over a plate of food and put it in the refrigerator, she cautions against doing this because when air gets into the food, it allows bacteria to grow faster, and certain foods don't hold up as well as others.
She goes on to say that dairy, meat, or poultry products tend to have bacteria build up on them faster than other foods.
She also recommends having someone in charge of paying attention to the clock after the food is cooked, because in order for leftovers to be safely stored, the have to get into the refrigerator within two hours to avoid bacteria growth.
It is also not a good idea to just put the whole bird back in the fridge.
Lindsay Malone; Registered Dietician at Cleveland Clinic>>: "The turkey, in terms of breaking it down and putting it away; it's really important to take it off the bone and pack it into a nice shallow container. Take the stuffing out of the turkey - you never want to store the stuffing inside the turkey."
If you have guests that will be taking home leftovers, if they will be traveling more than two hours to get home, Malone recommends packing food in a cooler with ice so the food will stay safe after the two hour window.
For this week's Health Report, I'm Rhiannon Walker, have a Happy Thanksgiving.