Shelf Life Tips
- The precise answer to the question "How long does cooked turkey last" depends to a large extent on storage conditions - refrigerate within two hours of cooking; if turkey is stuffed, remove stuffing to a separate container before refrigerating or freezing leftovers.
- To maximize the shelf life of cooked turkey, refrigerate cooked poultry in shallow airtight containers or wrap tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
- To further extend the shelf life of cooked turkey, freeze it; freeze in covered airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags, or wrap tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil or freezer wrap.
- How long does cooked turkey last in the freezer for safety purposes? The freezer time shown is for best quality only - foods kept constantly frozen at 0°F will keep safe indefinitely.
How long does cooked turkey last after being frozen and thawed? Cooked turkey that has been thawed in the fridge can be kept for an additional 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator before cooking; turkey that was thawed in the microwave or in cold water should be eaten immediately.
- How long does Thanksgiving turkey last at room temperature? Bacteria grow rapidly at temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F; turkey should be discarded if left for more than 2 hours at room temperature.
- How to tell if cooked turkey is bad? The best way is to smell and look at the turkey: signs of bad turkey are a sour smell and a slimy texture to the cooked turkey; discard any turkey with an off smell or appearance, do not taste the turkey first.
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Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please click here