How Long Should You Keep Leftovers?

After a particularly delicious and large family meal, one of the best things to look forward to is a long nap and leftovers for your next meal. There is nothing better than waking up the day after Thanksgiving to realize that you have an entire week’s worth of meal waiting for you to enjoy again. The only worrisome part of this experience is deciding when it has been too long to be enjoying those leftovers. As a provider of meals for your family, you want to be able to make the most out of the food you have purchased. We, at Tower Deli, understand this firsthand and as one of the leading catering services in Fort Lauderdale, we would like to share with you our foolproof methods for determining how long to save leftovers. 

There are many different kinds of leftovers, especially after a big event, so we will discuss some of the most common ones. Let’s start with our number one rule: When in doubt, throw it out! There is no reason to risk a foodborne illness for you or a family member. If you are doubtful, throw it away and don’t look back. Keeping your family safe is surely worth saving a few dollars on food. 


There are many different kinds of meat and several different ways to prepare it. With this in mind, we will suggest how long you should be able to keep certain types. These are not hard and fast rules and do not always apply, so be sure to stick to our number one rule and throw it out if there is any doubt. Meat that has been pre-cooked and deli meat can often be stored in a refrigerator for 2-3 days. Cooked pork, poultry, beef, bison or lamb lasts a little longer for about 3-4 days in the fridge. 

Soups & Chili

Soups and chili last a bit longer than meat at 3-4 day. However, if the soup or chili contains meat, we recommend that you only keep it for 2-3 days. 


Desserts tend to last much longer than traditional catered food. Desserts that do not contain dairy, eggs, or meat will last for several days. Cream and fruit pies have a shorter lifespan of 3-4 days, while desserts such as pastries, cake and cheesecake can last up to a week in the fridge. However, with desserts from Tower Deli, there is a guarantee that these will be gobbled up the first day!

Side Dishes

Side dishes cover a wide range of foods so we will discuss some of the more common ones we offer. Salads and fresh vegetables, because of the lack of preservatives and the freshness with which we choose from, only last about 1-2 days. Pasta salad, potato salad, deviled eggs and those side dishes containing eggs, milk, or cooked vegetables last roughly 3-4 days. Hard boiled eggs, however, can last up to a week. 

These are some of the most common foods that Tower Deli, one of the leading catering services in Fort Lauderdale, offers. Some other common food safety tips include washing hands before handling food, cooking meat to safe temperatures and storing leftovers in a refrigerated area. These tips, along with the leftover storage tips we offered, should allow you to enjoy your catered food long after the party is over. 



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