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Dinner Deadline: How long leftovers last in the fridge

Not all leftovers are created equal: You may be leaving some in your fridge too long

SAN ANTONIO – Leftovers can help your budget, save you time on cooking meals and help reduce food waste. But keeping them in your refrigerator too long can be unhealthy.

Healthline Magazine reports many different factors that can influence how long you can store your food.

Fresh fruits and vegetables last the longest. They can be left in the fridge for up to five days. They will usually last up to seven days if they are cooked. But be sure to eat fresh produce as early as possible because it will start to lose flavor.

Bread will last as long as it does not grow mold. However, after three days it will taste less fresh.

Cooked pasta and grains, like quinoa and barley, will only last up to three days. But you can extend their life by freezing them for up to three months.

Desserts will not last as long as you may hope. You should throw them out after a few days in the fridge.

High risk foods include protein and moist dishes. Deli meat expires in five days after you open the package and chicken or beef will only stay fresh for two days.

Be sure to put rice in a container one hour after cooking it and eat it within two days. Otherwise, you could be at a high risk for food poisoning.


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