“You really want to minimize the time the leftovers are in what we call the danger zone between 40-140 degrees,” Kandora says. “Anything in that range provides an ideal environment for bacteria to multiply rapidly.”
When you’re ready to eat your leftovers, you also need to be careful with temperatures.
“All leftovers should be reheated to an internal temperature greater than 165 degrees,” Kandora says. “That will help kill bacteria that can make you sick.
Kandora notes that some bacteria that is extremely heat resistant, which is also why proper storage is so important.
“If you go out to eat and you bring leftovers home, store the food in a new, airtight container instead of the easy-close Styrofoam containers restaurants often give you,” she says. “That can help keep it fresh longer.”