A Guide to Expiration Dates
The Shelf Life of Leftovers
Have a giant pot of chili that would feed a team of football players? Invite them over. According to the USDA, most refrigerated leftovers last 4 days, tops. Dishes that contain seafood or uncooked ingredients, like mayonnaise, spoil faster; eat them within a couple of days. And don’t let uneaten food linger on the counter for more than 2 hours. The longer a dish sits at room temperature, the more susceptible it is to bacteria growth. Pay special attention to cooked rice and other grains, which at room temperature can harbor a bacterium called Bacillus cereus, which will make you sick. It’s fine to put warm food in the refrigerator or freezer. But when handling a dish that will take many hours to cool fully—a huge stockpot full of stew, say—transfer it to several smaller containers first.
Everyone agrees embarrassment can be excruciating. But is the emotion all bad? Discover its surprising upside—and learn how to get over it more easily—with this expert advice for kids and adults.