Food Storage 101

October 15, 2015

Not sure whether to taste it or toss it? Use these guidelines for how long food will keep in your cabinet, fridge or freezer. For your convenience, you can also download this list as a PDF.

Canned Foods

Food
Refrigerator (40°F) Freezer (0°F)
Home canned foods  3 to 4 days  
High-acid canned goods.
Examples: juices (tomato, orange, lemon, lime, and grapefruit); tomatoes;
grapefruit, pineapple, apples and apple products, mixed fruit, peaches,
pears, plums, all berries, pickles, sauerkraut, and foods treated with vinegar based
sauces or dressings like German potato salad and sauerbraten.
 5 to 7 days  
Low-acid canned goods.
Examples: canned meat and poultry, stews, soups (except tomato),
spaghetti (noodle and pasta) products, potatoes, corn, carrots, spinach,
beans, beets, peas, and pumpkin.
 3 to 4 days

Eggs

Food
Refrigerator (40°F) Freezer (0°F) 
Fresh, in shell  3 to 5 weeks  
Hard Cooked  1 week  
Liquid pasteurized eggs or egg substitutes: OPENED  3 days
Liquid pasteurized eggs or egg substitutes: UNOPENED  10 days
 1 year
Mayonnaise, commercial: refrigerate after opening  2 months
 
Raw yolks, whites  2 to 4 days
 1 year

Fish & Shellfish

Food
Refrigerator (40°F) Freezer (0°F)
Fish and Shellfish leftovers  3 to 4 days  3 months
Fresh fish  1 to 2 days  3 to 8 months
Fresh Shellfish  1 to 2 days  3 to 12 months
Tuna and other seafood in retort pouches 3 to 4 days
 

Meat & Poultry

Food
Refrigerator (40°F) Freezer (0°F)
Chops  3 to 5 days  4 to 12 months
Hamburger & stew meats, raw  1 to 2 days  3 to 4 months
Roasts  3 to 5 days  4 to 12 months
Steaks  3 to 5 days  4 to 12 months
Variety meats (tongue, kidneys, liver, heart, chitterlings)  1 to 2 days  3 to 4 months

Ham & Corned Beef

 Food
Refrigerator (40°F) Freezer (0°F)
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
Ham, canned, labeled “Keep Refrigerated” UNOPENED  6 to 9 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
Ham, fully cooked, whole  7 days  1 to 2 months
Meat or poultry products in retort pouches  3 to 4 days
 

Bacon & Sausage

Food
Refrigerator (40°F) Freezer (0°F)
Bacon  7 days  1 month
Cooked meat & meat dishes  3 to 4 days  2 to 3 months
Gravy & meat broth  3 to 4 days  2 to 3 months
Sausage, raw from pork, beef, chicken or turkey  1 to 2 days  1 to 2 months
Smoked breakfast links, patties  7 days  1 to 2 months
Summer sausage, labeled “Keep Refrigerated” OPENED  3 weeks  1 to 2 months
Summer sausage, labeled “Keep Refrigerated” UNOPENED  3 months  1 to 2 months

Raw Hamburger, Ground & Stew Meat

Food
Refrigerator (40°F) Freezer (0°F)
Ground turkey, veal, pork, lamb  1 to 2 days  3 to 4 months
Hamburger, stew meats  1 to 2 days  3 to 4 months

Deli & Vacuum-Packed Products

Food
Refrigerator (40°F) Freezer (0°F)
Commerical brand vacuum-packed dinners with USDA seal, unopened  2 weeks  
Pre-stuffed pork & lamb chops, chicken breasts
stuffed with dressing
 1 day  
Store-cooked convenience meals  3 to 4 days  

Hotdogs & Lunch Meats

Food
Refrigerator (40°F) Freezer (0°F)
Hotdogs: OPENED  1 week  1 to 2 months
Hotdogs: UNOPENED  2 weeks  1 to 2 months
Lunch meats: OPENED  3 to 5 days  1 to 2 months
Lunch meats: UNOPENED
 2 weeks  1 to 2 months

Fresh Poultry

Food
Refrigerator (40°F)
Freezer (0°F)
Chicken or turkey, whole  1 to 2 days  1 year
Chicken or turkey, parts  1 to 2 days  9 months
Giblets  1 to 2 days  3 to 4 months

Cooked Poultry & Leftovers

Food
Refrigerator (40°F) Freezer (0°F)
Chicken nuggets, patties  3 to 4 days  1 to 3 months
Cooked poultry dishes  3 to 4 days  4 to 6 months
Fried chicken  3 to 4 days  4 months
Pieces covered with broth, gravy  3 to 4 days  6 months
Pieces, plain  3 to 4 days  4 months

Prepared Foods

Food
Refrigerator (40°F) Freezer (0°F)
Rice and dried pasta  After cooking,
 3 to 4 days
 
Pizza  3 to 4 days  1 to 2 months
TV dinner, frozen casseroles (keep frozen until ready to heat)  3 to 4 days  3 to 4 months
Soups & stews, vegetable or meat-added & mixtures of them  3 to 5 days  2 to 3 months
Store-preared (or homemade) egg, chicken, tuna, ham, macaroni salads