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Cold and Frozen Food Storage

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.

Bacon7 days1 month
Beverages - Juices in cartons, fruit drinks, punch3 weeks unopened
7 to 10 days opened
8 - 12 months
Cheese - hard (e.g. Swiss)3 - 4 weeks6 months
Cheese - soft (e.g. brie)1 week6 months
Chops3 to 5 days4 - 6 months
Cottage cheese1 weekDoesn't freeze well
Fish - lean (cod, etc.)1 to 2 days6 months
Fish - fatty (salmon, etc.)1 to 2 days2 to 3 months
Dough - tube cans of rolls, biscuits, pizza doughUse-by dateDon't freeze
Dough – cookieUse-by date2 months
Eggs - fresh in shell3 to 5 weeksDon't freeze
Eggs - hard cooked1 weekDon't freeze well
Egg substitutes – opened3 daysDon't freeze well
Egg substitutes – unopened3 days1 year
Ground hamburger, turkey, pork mixtures; stew meat1 to 2 days3 to 4 months
Ham - fully cooked, whole7 days1 to 2 months
Ham - fully cooked, slices3 to 4 days1 to 2 months
Hot dogs - opened1 week1 to 2 months
Hot dogs - unopened2 weeks1 to 2 months
Leftovers – all kinds3 to 4 days2 – 3 months
Luncheon meats - opened3 to 5 days1 to 2 months
Luncheon meats - unopened2 weeks1 to 2 months
Margarine4 - 5 months12 months
Mayonnaise - commercial/refrigerate after opening2 monthsDoesn’t freeze well
Milk7 days3 months
Poultry - fresh, chicken or turkey1 to 2 days6 months
Sausage, raw1 to 2 days1 to 2 days 1 to 2 months
Smoked breakfast sausage7 days1 to 2 months
Steaks, roasts3 to 5 days6 - 12 months
Yogurt7 - 14 days1 - 2 months

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