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Storage times for food in the refrigerator and freezer

Read the charts below to find out how long you should keep certain foods in the refrigerator or freezer. 

Bacon and sausage

Product Refrigerator (40 F) Freezer (0 F)
Bacon 7 days 1 month
Sausage, raw - from pork, beef, turkey 1-2 days 1-2 months
Smoked breakfast links, patties 7 days 1-2 months
Hard sausage Opened: 3 weeks. Unopened: indefinitely 1-2 months
Summer sausage labeled "keep refrigerated" Opened: 3 weeks. Unopened: 3 months 1-2 months

Deli and vacuum-packed products

Product Refrigerator (40 F) Freezer (0 F)
Store-made or homemade egg, chicken, tuna, ham, macaroni salads 3-4 days Don't freeze well
Pre-stuffed pork & lamb chops, chicken breasts stuffed with dressing 1-2 days 9 months
Stuffed pork chops 1-2 days 9 months
Chicken breasts 1-2 days 9 months
Store-cooked convenience meals 1-2 days Don't freeze well
Commercial brand vacuum-packed dinners with USDA seal Unopened: 2 weeks Don't freeze well

Eggs

Product Refrigerator (40 F) Freezer (0 F)
Fresh eggs in shell 3-5 weeks Don't freeze
Eggs, raw yolks or white 2-4 days 1 year
Hardcooked eggs 1 week Don't freeze well
Liquid pasteurized eggs or egg substitute Opened: 3 days. Unopened: 6 weeks Don't freeze
Cooked egg dishes 3-4 days 2-3 months

Fish and shellfish

Product Refrigerator (40 F) Freezer (0 F)
Fresh fish and shellfish 1-2 days 3-6 months
Cooked fish 3-4 days 4-6 months
Smoked fish 14 days 2 months

Ham, corned beef

Product Refrigerator (40 F) Freezer (0 F)
Corned beef - in pouch with pickling juices 5-7 days Drained, wrapped: 1 month
Ham, canned - labeled "keep refrigerated" Opened: 3-5 days. Unopened: 6-9 months Don't freeze
Ham, fully cooked - whole 7 days 1-2 months
Ham, fully cooked - half 7 days 1-2 months
Ham, fully cooked - slices 3-4 days 1-2 months

Hamburger, ground and stew meats - fresh

Product Refrigerator (40 F) Freezer (0 F)
Hamburger 1–2 days 3–4 months
Ground turkey, veal, pork, lamb, and mixtures of them 1–2 days 3–4 months
Stew meats 3-5 days 4-12 months

Hotdogs and lunch meats

Product Refrigerator (40 F) Freezer (0 F)
Hotdogs Opened package: 1 week. Unopened package: 2 weeks 1-2 months
Luncheon meats Opened package: 3-5 days. Unopened package: 2 weeks 1-2 months

Mayonnaise

Product Refrigerator (40 F) Freezer (0 F)
Commercial, refrigerate after opening 2 months Don't freeze

Meat - fresh

Product Refrigerator (40 F) Freezer (0 F)
Steaks, beef 3-5 days 4-12 months
Chops, pork 3-5 days 4-12 months
Chops, lamb 3-5 days 4-12 months
Roasts, beef 3-5 days 4-12 months
Roasts, lamb 3-5 days 4-12 months
Roasts, pork and veal 3-5 days 4-12 months
Variety meats - tongue, brain, kidneys, liver, heart, chitterlings 1-2 days 3-4 months

Meat - cooked, leftovers

Product Refrigerator (40 F) Freezer (0 F)
Cooked meat and meat dishes 3-4 days 2-3 months
Gravy and meat broth 1-2 days 2-3 months

Poultry - fresh

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

Poultry - cooked, leftovers

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

Soups and stews

Product Refrigerator (40 F) Freezer (0 F)
Vegetable or meat-added 3-4 days 2-3 months

Frozen meals, commercially prepared

Product Refrigerator (40 F) Freezer (0 F)
Keep frozen until ready to serve - 3-4 months

William Schafer, emeritus Extension specialist; Kathy Brandt, Extension educator; Suzanne Driessen, Extension educator; and Lou Ann Jopp, former Extension educator

Reviewed in 2018

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