Refrigerator and Freezer Storage Chart

Since product dates aren’t a guide for safe use of a product, consult this chart and follow these tips. These short but safe time limits will help keep refrigerated food 40° F (4° C) from spoiling or becoming dangerous.

Purchase the product before “sell-by” or expiration dates.

Follow handling recommendations on product.

Keep meat and poultry in its package until just before using.

If freezing meat and poultry in its original package longer than 2 months, overwrap these packages with airtight heavy-duty foil, plastic wrap, or freezer paper, or place the package inside a plastic bag.

Cook foods to the required minimum cooking temperatures:
165° F. - Poultry, poultry stuffing, and stuffed meat
158° F. - Ground Beef, fish, and seafood
150° F. - Pork and food containing pork

Because freezing 0° F (-18° C) keeps food safe indefinitely, the following recommended storage times are for quality only.

 
 
Product Refrigerator Freezer
Eggs    
Fresh, in shell 4 to 5 weeks Don't freeze
Raw yolks, whites  2 to 4 days 1 year
Hardcooked 1 week Doesn't freeze well
Liquid pasteurized eggs or egg substitutes, opened  3 days Don't freeze
Liquid pasteurized eggs or egg substitutes, unopened 10 days 1 year
Mayonnaise, commercial
  Refrigerate after opening 
2 months Don’t freeze
 
Product Refrigerator Freezer
TV Dinners, Frozen Casseroles
Keep frozen until ready to heat 
  3 to 4 months
 
Deli & Vacuum-Packed Products Refrigerator Freezer
Store-prepared (or homemade) egg, chicken, tuna, ham, macaroni salads 3 to 5 days Don’t freeze well
Pre-stuffed pork & lamb chops, chicken breasts stuffed w/dressing  1 day Don’t freeze well
Store-cooked convenience meals  3 to 4 days Don’t freeze well
Commercial brand vacuum-packed dinners with USDA seal, unopened  2 weeks Don’t freeze well
 
 
Raw Hamburger, Ground & Stew Meat Refrigerator Freezer
Hamburger & stew meats  1 to 2 days  3 to 4 months
Ground turkey, veal, pork, lamb  1 to 2 days  3 to 4 months
 
Ham, Corned Beef
Refrigerator
Freezer
Corned beef in pouch with pickling juices  5 to 7 days Drained, 1 month
Ham, canned, labeled “Keep Refrigerated,” unopened  6 to 9 months  Don’t freeze
Ham, canned, labeled “Keep Refrigerated,” opened  3 to 5 days  1 to 2 months
Ham, fully cooked, whole  7 days  1 to 2 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
 
Hot Dogs and Lunch Meats
Refrigerator
Freezer (in freezer wrap)
Hot dogs, opened package  1 week  1 to 2 months
Hot dogs, unopened package  2 weeks  1 to 2 months
Lunch meats, opened package  3 to 5 days  1 to 2 months
Lunch meats, unopened package  2 weeks  1 to 2 months
 
Soups and Stews Refrigerator Freezer
Vegetable or meat-added & mixtures of them  3 to 4 days 2 to 3 months
 
Bacon and Sausage  Refrigerator Freezer
Bacon  7 days  1 month
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,” unopened  3 months  1 to 2 months
Summer sausage labeled “Keep Refrigerated,” opened 3 weeks 1 to 2 months
 
Fresh Meat (Beef, Veal, Lamb and Pork)  Refrigerator Freezer
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, kidneys, liver, heart, chitterlings) 1 to 2 days 3 to 4 months
 
Meat Leftovers  Refrigerator Freezer
Cooked meat & meat dishes  3 to 4 days  2 to 3 months
Gravy & meat broth  1 to 2 days  2 to 3 months
 
Fresh Poultry Refrigerator Freezer
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, Leftover Refrigerator Freezer
Fried chicken  3 to 4 days  4 months
Cooked poultry dishes  3 to 4 days  4 to 6 months
Pieces, plain  3 to 4 days  4 months
Pieces covered with broth, gravy  1 to 2 days  6 months
Chicken nuggets, patties  1 to 2 days  1 to 3 months
 
Fish and Shellfish Refrigerator Freezer
Lean fish 1 to 2 days 6 months
Fatty fish  1 to 2 days 2 to 3 months
Cooked fish  3 to 4 days 4 to 6 months
Smoked fish  14 days 2 months
Fresh shrimp, scallops, crawfish, squid  1 to 2 days 3 to 6 months
Canned seafood
  Pantry, 5 years 
after opening
3 to 4 days 
out of can
2 months

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