Safe cooked turkey storage time

Asked March 16, 2020, 4:47 PM EDT

I cooked a turkey on Thursday, refrigerated it and wonder if it is still safe to eat the part I kept in the refrigerator-didn't freeze. Tonight it will be 4 days old. Is it still ok to eat?

Marion County Oregon

1 Response

Below is some information from the Oregon State University Extension Service Turkey Basics Publication(

Storing Leftovers

Debone turkey and refrigerate all leftovers in shallow containers WITHIN 2 HOURS OF COOKING. For best quality use leftover turkey, stuffing and gravy within 3-4 days freeze it for 2-6 months. Reheat leftovers to a temperature of 165°F or until hot and steaming. Discard any turkey, stuffing and gravy left out longer than 2 hours.

Safety Tips for ready prepared turkey dinner

  • If the dinner is picked up or delivered HOT, the food must be kept at 140 °F or above or eaten within 2 hours. It's not a good idea to try and keep the foods hot longer than 2 hours because they will dry out.

  • If holding the food longer than 2 hours, remove all stuffing from the turkey cavity, divide the turkey into smaller pieces, and refrigerate everything in separate, shallow containers. Reheat the meat and stuffing to 165 °F just before serving.

  • When picking up a cooked turkey dinner that has been chilled, do not accept a whole turkey with stuffing inside. If the turkey and stuffing were cooked and refrigerated separately, both should be safe. Keep these cold foods cold and refrigerate them immediately upon arrival at home. Serve the meal within 3 to 4 days.

  • Do not reheat a whole cooked turkey. Instead, carve the cooked meat and reheat the slices or pieces.

  • If the cooked turkey has a USDA inspection seal on the packaging, it has been processed under controlled conditions. Follow the package directions for reheating, and storing this product.

if you have any additional questions I recommend you call USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-674-6854, OR your local County Extension Office.

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