Nov 24, 2017

Storing Food in the Freezer or Refrigerator

Cold Storage Chart

These short, but safe, time limits will help keep refrigerated food from spoiling or becoming dangerous to eat. Because freezing keeps food safe indefinitely, recommended storage times are for quality only.

Cold Storage Chart
Product Refrigerator (40 °F) Freezer (0 °F)
Eggs
Fresh, in shell 3 to 5 weeks Do not freeze
Raw yolks & whites 2 to 4 days 1 year
Hard cooked 1 week Does not freeze well
Liquid pasteurized eggs, egg substitutes
Opened 3 days Does not freeze well
Unopened 10 days 1 year
Mayonnaise, Commercial

Refrigerate after opening
2 months Do not freeze
Frozen Dinners & Entrees
Keep frozen until ready to heat — 3 to 4 months
Deli & Vacuum-Packed Products
Store-prepared (or homemade) egg, chicken, ham, tuna, & macaroni salads 3 to 5 days Does not freeze well
Hot dogs & Luncheon Meats
Hot dogs
Opened package 1 week 1 to 2 months
Unopened package 2 weeks 1 to 2 months
Luncheon meat
Opened package 3 to 5 days 1 to 2 months
Unopened package 2 weeks 1 to 2 months
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 3 weeks 1 to 2 months
Unopened 3 months 1 to 2 months
Corned Beef
Corned beef, in pouch with pickling juices 5 to 7 days Drained, 1 month
Ham, canned
labeled "Keep Refrigerated"
Opened 3 to 5 days 1 to 2 months
Unopened 6 to 9 months Do not freeze
Ham, fully cooked
Vacuum sealed at plant, undated, unopened 2 weeks 1 to 2 months
Vacuum sealed at plant, dated, unopened "Use-By" date on package 1 to 2 months
Whole 7 days 1 to 2 months
Half 3 to 5 days 1 to 2 months
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 breasts stuffed with dressing 1 day Does not freeze well
Soups & Stews
Vegetable or meat added
3 to 4 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 Meat and Poultry Leftovers
Cooked meat & meat casseroles 3 to 4 days 2 to 3 months
Gravy & meat broth 1 to 2 days 2 to 3 months
Fried chicken 3 to 4 days 4 months
Cooked poultry casseroles 3 to 4 days 4 to 6 months
Poultry pieces, plain 3 to 4 days 4 months
Poultry pieces in broth, gravy 1 to 2 days 6 months
Chicken nuggets, patties 1 to 2 days 1 to 3 months
Other Cooked Leftovers
Pizza, cooked 3 to 4 days 1 to 2 months
Stuffing, cooked 3 to 4 days 1 month



The information on this site was produced by the US Dept.of Agriculture and the CDC and compiled by the site owners.
We are not responsible for the accuracy or completeness of this information.
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