Make sure your leftovers are safe to eat -

Are leftovers safe to eat?

Leftovers can be an added bonus to a big meal, 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 your 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.

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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