Proper storage tips issued to avoid holiday food poisonings

With an abundance of leftovers likely following Memorial Day festivities, graduation parties and other outdoor and summer gatherings, proper storage can become a serious issue in avoiding food poisoning.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) all provide various resources to help avoid sickness and even doctor and emergency room visits.

The CDC estimates that 48 million people, or one out of six in the United States, get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from all foodborne diseases each year.

General tips include the two-hour rule, using small and shallow containers, and freeze or consume within four days, along with guidance for reheating leftovers.

USDA guidance on Leftovers and Food Safety is available at, from the CDC on Seasonal and Holiday Food Safety at, and a proper refrigeration and freezer storage chart from the FDA at