Here's How Long Your Leftovers Really Last

At any given moment, we've probably got a couple of different kinds of takeout in the fridge. But once we've had that late-night pizza or half-eaten container of pad Thai for a couple of days, we're never quite sure how long it will actually stay good.

To get some answers, we reached out to food safety expert Marianne Gravely at the USDA. She helped us out with spoilage ranges for some of our favorite Seamless orders and also offered some general advice — namely trust yourself. There are two things that keep us from eating food after it's been in the fridge for days: actual spoilage, or no longer being appealing because it's been sitting around for too long. With whatever leftovers you've got on-hand, watch out for mold, smells, and slimy textures. Plus, if something gets soggy, absorbs too much moisture, or a sauce starts to separate, you probably want to pass on seconds of that, too. Cooked food typically lasts three to four days in the fridge, but that can vary when seafood is involved. Anything raw or at-risk of not keeping well in a cold environment (like a sandwich that can get soggy, or sushi) typically has a shorter lifespan.

For a complete guide, check out our cheat sheet below. But remember: Regardless of how many days it's been, if something looks or smells bad, don't eat it!
Designed by Mallory Heyer.
This month, we're asking you to toss out everything you thought you knew about spring cleaning and give every corner of your life a refresh. The inspiration for a happier, clutter-free you is right this way.
Advertisement

More from Food & Drinks

While some people might be trying to get you to delete your Instagram food pics, there are many, many more tinkering around in their high-tech laboratories...
Growing up, your parents may have told you to be grateful for your food, because some people are starving. Now, your own meals can actually help other ...
Coffee lovers of the world, get ready. We have news that might make even a die-hard caffeine addict à la Lorelai Gilmore jump up and down in excitement. ...
These out of this world doughnuts are topped with a vanilla galaxy. Oh, and did we mention that they only have two ingredients
DIY cotton candy ice cream that doesn't require an ice cream maker? Winning
Whether you're brunching or, uh, dinnering, etiquette is of the utmost importance when dining out. And no, we don't mean keeping your elbows off the table...
Once in college, I had a friend Google "how to make a grilled cheese," and I remember being completely baffled that someone would need a step-by-step ...
(Paid Content) Scrambled eggs for breakfast? Yawn. Standard-issue pancakes? Predictable. To effectively get us out of bed in the a.m., we prefer a morning ...
Once the vegetable our moms would have to beg us to try ("just a bite!"), today, we can't get enough of cauliflower. It practically defines the word ...
Great drinks, a perfect soundtrack, the perfect lighting: all these things can make a party good. But what makes a get-together memorable? The food. Once ...
A few months back, Zoe Bain went boldly where neither of us had gone before: She completely barred herself from anything takeout (yes, even coffee) for two...
Every time we log into Amazon, it feels like everything — movies, tech gadgets, and random articles of clothing — is competing for our attention. But, ...
S'mores are a messy dessert favorite. But why not skip the sticky situation and enjoy yours in a cone
This may be news to you, but living in New York is kind of expensive. But, while it may always be the land of $17 cocktails and unmentionable rents, the ...