Narrator: This is Science Today. You may want to think twice before reaching for enticing leftover food items at the office. Linda Harris, a microbiologist and food safety expert at the University of California, Davis says that's because leftover catered luncheons or potluck affairs can often become breeding grounds for food borne illness problems.
Harris: Typically, people have a business luncheon and then the leftovers get put in the main corridor somewhere where people can access them, sometimes for hours and hours on end and you have to keep in mind that the food probably sat out for a couple hours during the actual luncheon and then how long has it been sitting out afterwards?
Narrator: If you're unsure, Harris says the best bet is to leave those questionable leftovers alone.
Harris: We typically don't recommend that food is left at room temperature for longer than two hours. So, while it's nice to have those free sandwiches every once in a while, you may want to ask yourself where has this food been?
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.