HOUSTON (KIAH) — Turkey, dressing and sweet potato pie!

Tis the season for Thanksgiving feasts. But, how long can you hang on to that last scoop of mac and cheese before the leftovers go bad?

“I think it’s confusing for folks who just want to have fun and get together, ” says Dr. Christine Le with Kelsey-Seybold. She adds, ” I think of the rule of twos during Thanksgiving. Really, by the time you take it out of the fridge, take it out of the stove, make sure it’s eaten within two hours. That’s the best way to protect your family and friends from bringing home food poisoning during the holiday.”

The threat of food poisoning is real. According to the CDC, 48 million people get sick from foodborne diseases each year. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy what’s left over from dinner.

“It needs to be eaten within three to four days max. And when you’re re-heating it, the temperature needs to be 165 degrees. That is the temperature that it has to be so that any foodborne germs are killed,” says Dr. Le.

There are some culprits you have to keep a close eye on because they spoil easy, like creamy pies and anything containing dairy products like milk and eggs.

As you check the fridge for what can stick around a little longer, Dr. Le says you shouldn’t forget about that one thing that never expires—love.

“It will improve the immune system to be surrounded by friendship and love, which also means you’ll be less likely to get germs.”