Cold Storage Chart

The following selections are from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Cold Storage Chart.  As the USDA and FDA note, the specified time limits on refrigerated foods will ensure they don’t spoil and become unsafe to eat.  Frozen foods can be stored indefinitely, but the taste and texture of the food may change after the time limits listed below.  The complete chart is available at www.foodsafety.gov/~fsg/f01chart.html.

 

Product

Refrigerator (40 °F)

Freezer (0 °F)

Eggs

Fresh, in shell

3 to 5 weeks

Don't freeze

Hardcooked

1 week

Don't freeze well

Hot dogs & Luncheon Meats

Hot dogs, opened package

Unopened package

1 week

2 weeks

1 to 2 months

1 to 2 months

Luncheon meats, opened package

Unopened package

3 to 5 days

2 weeks

1 to 2 months

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

Ham

Ham, fully-cooked vacuum sealed at plant, undated, unopened

2 weeks

1 to 2 months

Ham, fully-cooked, whole

7 days

1 to 2 months

Hamburger, Ground & Stew Meat

Hamburger & stew meat; 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

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

Cooked Poultry

Fried chicken

3 to 4 days

4 months

Pieces, plain

3 to 4 days

4 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 to 10 days opened

8 to 12 months

Dairy

Butter

1 to 3 months

6 to 9 months

Cheese, Hard (such as Cheddar, Swiss)

6 months, unopened
3 to 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

Margarine

4 to 5 months

12 months

Milk

7 days

3 months

Sour cream

7 to 21 days

Doesn't freeze

Yogurt

7 to 14 days

1 to 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

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