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Good to know: food storage times

Best way to store different types of food [photo: frankschrader.us ; all rights reserved]
Best way to store different types of food [photo: frankschrader.us ; all rights reserved]

Storage Times for the Refrigerator and Freezer

These short but safe time limits for home-refrigerated foods will keep them from spoiling or becoming dangerous to eat. The guidelines for freezer storage are for quality only. Frozen foods remain safe longer.

FoodTypeRefrigerator
(40 °F or below)
Freezer
(0 °F or below)
SaladEgg, chicken, ham, tuna and macaroni salads3 to 4 daysDoes not freeze well
Hot dogsOpened package1 week1 to 2 months
Unopened package2 weeks1 to 2 months
Luncheon meatOpened package or deli sliced3 to 5 days1 to 2 months
Unopened package2 weeks1 to 2 months
Bacon and sausageBacon1 week1 month
Sausage, raw, from chicken, turkey, pork, or beef1 to 2 days1 to 2 months
Sausage, fully cooked, from chicken, turkey, pork, or beef1 week1 to 2 months
Hamburger and other ground meatsHamburger, ground beef, turkey, veal, pork, lamb, and mixtures of them1 to 2 days3 to 4 months
Fresh beef, veal, lamb, and porkSteaks3 to 5 days4 to 12 months
Chops3 to 5 days4 to 12 months
Roasts3 to 5 days4 to 12 months
HamFresh, uncured, uncooked3 to 5 days6 months
Fresh, uncured, cooked3 to 4 days3 to 4 months
Cured, cook-before-eating or uncooked5 to 7 days or “use by” date3 to 4 months
Fully-cooked, vacuum-sealed at plant, unopened“Use by” date1 to 2 months
Cooked, store-wrapped, whole1 week1 to 2 months
Cooked, store-wrapped, slices, half, or spiral cut3 to 4 days1 to 2 months
Country ham, cooked1 week1 month
Canned, labeled “Keep Refrigerated,” unopened6 to 9 monthsDo not freeze
Canned, shelf-stable, openedNote: An unopened, shelf-stable, canned ham can be stored at room temperature for 6-9 months.5 to 14 days1 to 2 months
Prosciutto, Parma or Serrano ham, dry Italian or Spanish type, cut2 to 3 months1 month
Fresh PoultryChicken or turkey, whole1 to 2 days1 year
Chicken or turkey, pieces1 to 2 days9 months
EggsRaw eggs in shell3 to 5 weeksDo not freeze. Beat yolks and whites together, then freeze.
Raw egg whites and yolks Note: yolks do not freeze well2 to 4 days12 months
Raw egg accidentally frozen in shellUse immediately after thawingKeep frozen, then
refrigerate to thaw
Hard-cooked eggs1 weekDo not freeze
Egg substitutes, liquid
Unopened
1 weekDo not freeze
Egg substitutes, liquid
Opened
3 daysDo not freeze
Egg substitutes, frozen, unopenedAfter thawing, 1 week or refer to “use by” date12 months
Egg substitutes, frozen, openedAfter cooking, 3 to 4 days or refer to “use by” dateDo not freeze
Casseroles with eggs3 to 4 daysAfter baking, 2 to 3 months
Eggnog, commercial3 to 5 days6 months
Eggnog, homemade2 to 4 daysDo not freeze
Pies: Pumpkin or pecan3 to 4 daysAfter baking, 1 to 2 months
Pies: Custard and chiffon3 to 4 daysDo not freeze
Quiche with filling3 to 5 daysAfter baking, 2 to 3 months
Soups & StewsVegetable or meat added3 to 4 days2 to 3 months
LeftoversCooked meat or poultry3 to 4 days2 to 6 months
Chicken nuggets or patties3 to 4 days1 to 3 months
Pizza3 to 4 days1 to 2 months
Date Last Reviewed
 April 12, 2019

Note: all the information is about approximate storage times and actual time spans may be different depending on many factors. Always double-check freshness and treatment of food products. No warranties or guarantees given.

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