Turkey Storage Advice from the National Turkey Federation

Following proper storage procedures is important for food safety and to maintain the best quality of the turkey.

When you return from the grocery with raw turkey, place it in the original wrapper in the refrigerator; a hard-chilled turkey should not be placed in the freezer. If the turkey is frozen and the thawing process does not need to begin, store in the freezer.

Storage of Raw Turkey
Refrigerated Storage at 35-40 degrees F. Freezer Storage at 0 degrees F or Below
Whole Turkey1 to 2 days12 months
Turkey Breasts1 to 2 days 3 months

Care must be taken to properly store leftover cooked turkey. The leftover turkey should be carved from the bone and the stuffing removed. All leftovers should be stored in shallow containers and refrigerated or frozen within two hours of cooking. NTF recommends that cooked, sliced turkey reach 40 degrees F within two hours or less. When reheating, be sure the turkey reaches a temperature of 165 degrees F. Turkey gravy should be used within 1 to 2 days, be sure to bring the gravy to a boil before serving.

Storage of Leftover Cooked Turkey
Refrigerated Storage at 35-40 degrees F. Freezer Storage at 0 degrees F or Below
Leftover Turkey3 to 4 days3 to 4 months