Storage Guidelines for Cold / Frozen Foods

Do you know how long you can store dairy products or other food items in the refrigerator or freezer safely?

The following chart contains suggested safe time limits for keeping refrigerated foods from spoiling or becoming unsafe to eat. Because freezing can keep food safe indefinitely, the recommended storage times are for quality only.

Unless otherwise stated, the storage times are from date of purchase.

Product Refrigerator
(40°F/4.4°C)
Freezer
(0°F/-18°C)
Bacon 7 days 1 month
Beverages
- Juices in cartons, fruit drinks, punch
3 weeks unopened
7 to 10 days opened
8 - 12 months
Cheese - hard (e.g. Swiss) 3 - 4 weeks 6 months
Cheese - soft (e.g. brie) 1 week 6 months
Chops 3 to 5 days 4 - 6 months
Cottage cheese 1 week Doesn't freeze well
Fish - lean (cod, etc.) 1 to 2 days 6 months
Fish - fatty (salmon, etc.) 1 to 2 days 2 to 3 months
Dough - tube cans of rolls, biscuits, pizza dough Use-by date Don't freeze
Dough – cookie Use-by date 2 months
Eggs - fresh in shell 3 to 5 weeks Don't freeze
Eggs - hard cooked 1 week Don't freeze well
Egg substitutes – opened 3 days Don't freeze well
Egg substitutes – unopened 3 days 1 year
Ground hamburger, turkey, pork mixtures; stew meat 1 to 2 days 3 to 4 months
Ham - fully cooked, whole 7 days 1 to 2 months
Ham - fully cooked, slices 3 to 4 days 1 to 2 months
Hot dogs - opened 1 week 1 to 2 months
Hot dogs - unopened 2 weeks 1 to 2 months
Leftovers – all kinds 3 to 4 days 2 – 3 months
Luncheon meats - opened 3 to 5 days 1 to 2 months
Luncheon meats - unopened 2 weeks 1 to 2 months
Margarine 4 - 5 months 12 months
Mayonnaise - commercial/refrigerate after opening 2 months Doesn’t freeze well
Milk 7 days 3 months
Poultry - fresh, chicken or turkey 1 to 2 days 6 months
Sausage, raw 1 to 2 days 1 to 2 days 1 to 2 months
Smoked breakfast sausage 7 days 1 to 2 months
Steaks, roasts 3 to 5 days 6 - 12 months
Yogurt 7 - 14 days 1 - 2 months

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