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‘I’m a butcher – here’s the exact time turkey can be left out of the fridge’

Cooked turkey is a grey area when it comes to food storage, especially when it’s left out for some time after being carved.

That said, with the right method it can keep for some time and taste just as good as it would when fresh on Christmas Day.

Robert Unwin, owner of the award-winning butchery Roast Mutton has shared how to do it.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk the Cumbrian butcher expert revealed that proper storage begins before eating it for the first time.

He said: “The process starts as soon as you’ve carved. Once you’ve dished up, cover any leftovers with foil.”

Robert continued: “Once the bird has cooled you can use your fridge to store smaller amounts.”

It’s crucial to pay attention to timings here, just as you would when cooking.

The butcher claimed that once cooked, the turkey meat should be put in the fridge within a two-hour window of being cooled from oven-hot.

He suggested: “Portion it up and pop it into food storage containers, making sure to keep it away from any uncooked meats, you should then be able to store it for up to three days.

“If you’ve got loads left over again portion it up into food storage containers and the. Simply pop in the freezer once cooled to use later and help keep food waste to a minimum.”

Of course, it’s not just the meat itself that can be kept for another day. Every inch of the turkey can be re-purposed for other meals.

Robert claimed: “There’s a whole range of things you can do. Including using the bones and waste to make flavoursome stocks and soups or to make wholesome dishes like turkey, leek and ham pie.”

But when it comes to his own Christmas traditions, a classic Boxing Day curry is always the top choice.

The Cumbrian butcher said: “It has to be butter turkey curry – my mum makes the best using a whole block of butter – it’s so tasty!”

According to the Food Standards Agency, you can freeze cooked turkey, other cooked meat and meals made from previously cooked and frozen meat.

It will be safe to eat for a long time, but the quality may deteriorate after three to six months which is known as freezer burn.


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