How long will foods keep in the refrigerator/freezer

December 24, 2007

Product Refrigerator Freezer
Eggs    
Fresh, in shell 3 to 5 weeks Don’t freeze
Raw yolks, whites 2 to 4 days 1 year
Hardcooked 1 week Don’t freeze well
Liquid pasteurized eggs, egg substitutes opened/unopened 3 days/10 days Don’t freeze well/1yr
Mayonnaise    
commercial refrigerate after opening 2 months Doesn’t freeze
Deli & Vacuum-Packed Products    
Store-prepared (or homemade) egg, chicken, ham, tuna, macaroni salads 3 to 5 days Doesn’t freeze well
Hot dogs & Luncheon Meats    
Hot dogs,opened pkg/unopened pkg 1 week/2 weeks 1-2 months both
Luncheon meats, opened package/unopened package 3-5 days/2 wks 1-2 months both
Bacon & Sausage    
Bacon 7 days 1 month
Sausage, raw from chicken, turkey, pork, beef 1 to 2 days 1 to 2 months
Smoked breakfast links, patties 7 days 1 to 2 months
Hard sausage–pepperoni, jerky sticks 2 to 3 weeks 1 to 2 months
Summer sausage–labeled “Keep Refrigerated”
opened/
unopened
3 weeks/3 months 1 to 2 months both
Ham, Corned Beef    
Corned beef, in pouch with pickling juices 5 to 7 days Drained, 1 month
Ham, canned–labeled “Keep Refrigerated”
opened/
unopened
3-5 days/6-9 months 1 to 2 months/Doesn’t freeze
Ham, fully cooked vacuum sealed at plant, undated, unopened 2 weeks 1 to 2 months
Ham, fully cooked vacuum sealed at plant, dated, unopened “use by” date on package 1 to 2 months
Ham, fully cooked, whole 7 days 1 to 2 months
Ham, fully cooked, half 3 to 5 days 1 to 2 months
Ham, fully cooked, slices 3 to 4 days 1 to 2 months
Hamburger, Ground & Stew Meat    
Hamburger & stew meat 1 to 2 days 3 to 4 months
Ground turkey, veal, pork, lamb & mixtures of them 1 to 2 days 3 to 4 months
Fresh Beef, Veal, Lamb, Pork    
Steaks 3 to 5 days 6 to 12 months
Chops 3 to 5 days 4 to 6 months
Roasts 3 to 5 days 4 to 12 months
Variety meats–tongue, liver, heart, kidneys, chitterlings 1 to 2 days 3 to 4 months
Pre-stuffed, uncooked pork chops, lamb chops, or chicken breast stuffed with dressing 1 day Don’t freeze well
Soup & Stews    
Vegetable or meat added 3 to 4 days 2 to 3 months
Meat Leftovers    
Cooked meat and meat casseroles 3 to 4 days 2 to 3 months
Gravy and meat broth 1 to 2 days 2 to 3 months
Fresh Poultry    
Chicken or turkey, whole 1 to 2 days 1 year
Chicken or turkey, pieces 1 to 2 days 9 months
Giblets 1 to 2 days 3 to 4 months
Cooked Poultry    
Fried chicken 3 to 4 days 4 months
Cooked poultry casseroles 3 to 4 days 4 to 6 months
Pieces, plain 3 to 4 days 4 months
Pieces covered with broth, gravy 1 to 2 days 6 months
Chicken nuggets, patties 1 to 2 days 1 to 3 months
Pizza    
Pizza 3 to 4 days 1 to 2 months
Stuffing    
Stuffing–cooked 3 to 4 days 1 month
Beverages, Fruit    
Juices in cartons, fruit drinks, punch 3 weeks unopened
7-10 days opened
8 to 12 months
Dairy    
Butter 1 to 3 months 6 to 9 months
Buttermilk 7 to 14 days 3 months
Cheese, Hard (such as Cheddar, Swiss) 6 months, unopened
3-4 weeks, opened
6 months
Cheese Soft (such as Brie, Bel Paese) 1 week 6 months
Cottage Cheese, Ricotta 1 week Doesn’t freeze well
Cream Cheese 2 weeks Doesn’t freeze well
Cream–Whipped, ultrapasteurized 1 month Doesn’t freeze
Cream–Whipped, Sweetened 1 day 1 to 2 months
Cream–Aerosol can, real whipped cream 3 to 4 weeks Doesn’t freeze
Cream–Aerosol can, non dairy topping 3 months Doesn’t freeze
Cream, Half and Half 3 to 4 days 4 months
Eggnog, commercial 3 to 5 days 6 months
Margarine 4 to 5 months 12 months
Milk 7 days 3 months
Pudding package date; 2 days after opening Doesn’t freeze
Sour cream 7 to 21 days Doesn’t freeze
Yogurt 7 to 14 days 1 to 2 months
Dough    
Tube cans of rolls, biscuits, pizza dough, etc. Use-by-date Don’t freeze
Ready-to-bake pie crust Use-by-date 2 months
Cookie dough Use-by-date unopened or opened 2 months
Fish    
Lean fish (cod, flounder, haddock, sole, etc.) 1 to 2 days 6 months
Fatty fish (bluefish, mackerel, salmon, etc.) 1 to 2 days 2 to 3 months
Cooked fish 3 to 4 days 4 to 6 months
Smoked fish 14 days or date on vacuum package 2 months in vacuum package
Shellfish    
Shrimp, scallops, crayfish, squid, shucked clams, mussels and oysters 1 to 2 days 3 to 6 months
Live clams, mussels, crab, lobster and oysters 2 to 3 days 2 to 3 months
Cooked shellfish 3 to 4 days 3 months

Note: These short but safe time limits will help keep refrigerated foods from spoiling or becoming dangerous to eat. Because freezing keeps food safe indefinitely, recommended storage times are for quality only. Storage times are from date of purchase unless specified on chart. It is not important if a date expires after food is frozen.

Sources:

USDA, Food Safety and Inspection Service
The Food Keeper, The Food Marketing Institute

See also: How long do herbs and spices last?

Find another good list at http://www.pastrywiz.com/storage/refridgerated.htm

About these ads

5 Responses to “How long will foods keep in the refrigerator/freezer”

  1. cyclepromo Says:

    The guidelines regarding frozen are more for taste than safety in regard to frozen meat. Correct? I’d hate to see people throwing out frozen meat (expensive and wasteful) just because of these guidelines. Just pass the barbeque sauce when served.

  2. Editor Says:

    You are correct to a degree.

    The USDA says “because freezing keeps food safe almost indefinitely, recommended storage times are for quality only.” They go on to say, “First check the odor. Some foods will develop a rancid or off odor when frozen too long and should be discarded. Some may not look picture perfect or be of high enough quality to serve alone but may be edible; use them to make soups or stews. Cook raw food and if you like the taste and texture, use it.”

    Keep in mind that this is the same government agency that allows “cook-only” beef – tainted with E coli – to be sold to consumers. http://fooddemocracy.wordpress.com/2007/11/13/beef-with-e-coli-slips-through-cook-only-loophole/

    Personally, I think quality is a key issue but your point is well taken. Thank you.


  3. How long will fresh whipped cream stay in the refridgerator bofore it spoils? Thank you. Marie

  4. tanisha deshields Says:

    how long will raw perdue chicken breasts… the ones that come in the pack vacumsealed… stay fresh when frozen then thawed in the refrigerator?

  5. Content Ritchie Says:

    I BROUGHT A 7LB FROZEN TURKEY BREAST ON 11-17-10 AND PUT IT IN MY FRIGE,I CHECK IT 11-20-10 AND IT WAS THAWED,IT WAS PROB.THAWED WAY BEFORE THAT IS IT STILL GOOD? AND IF SO FOR HOW LONG?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 84 other followers

%d bloggers like this: