Thanksgiving leftovers could make you sick

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Sometimes leftovers can be the best part of Thanksgiving, but they can also make you very sick if you don't handle the food properly.

When a lot of friends and family get together, it's easy to let the food sit out too long, leaving a perfect opportunity for bacteria to grow.

"I think that's a possibility," said Patient First Dr. Scott Greenfield. "There are some foods such as salads. If they're not properly refrigerated that can cause food poisoning."

Dr. Greenfield says salmonella and e coli can quickly turn food bad, turning your stomach too. If you think you may have food poisoning, symptoms to watch out for include: nausea, throwing up, diarrhea, cramps, and fever.

"The biggest concern is when they become dehydrated," added Dr. Greenfield. "When you get dehydrated, you can get dizzy and you blood pressure could drop and all sorts of things can happen."

The FDA says we should keep leftovers no more than four days. Dr. Greenfield says kids, pregnant women, and the elderly are at the highest risk for food poisoning. He advises anyone who has symptoms for more than 24 hours to see a doctor.

If you plan on keeping your leftovers, it's best to throw them out by Monday at the latest to keep from getting sick. Many people we spoke to say they'd keep the food in their fridge for up to two weeks.

If you re-heat your turkey, make sure the temperature is at least 165 degrees to kill the bacteria.