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Storing food promptly and correctly can help prevent food poisoning.
If the food has a "use by" date, consume the food by that date or throw it out. If it has no date or only a "sell by" date, use the following table. It tells you how long you should keep some popular foods in the refrigerator or freezer. If you follow the recommended refrigeration time, you will ensure that food is safe and doesn't spoil. Freezing food keeps it safe for as long as it is frozen, so the recommended freezer-storage times are only to ensure highest quality.
|Product||Can refrigerate for:||Can freeze for:|
|Bacon||7 days||1 month|
|Beef, ground||1 to 2 days||3 to 4 months|
|Beef, steaks and roasts||3 to 5 days||4 to 12 months|
|Cheese, processed or brick||3 to 4 weeks||Can be frozen, but affects taste and texture|
|Chicken, breasts or legs||1 to 2 days||9 months|
|Chicken, giblets||1 to 2 days||3 to 4 months|
|Chicken, whole||1 to 2 days||12 months|
|Eggs, fresh||3 to 5 weeks||Do not freeze|
|Eggs, hard boiled||1 week||Do not freeze well|
|Fish, fatty (salmon, perch, other)||1 to 2 days||2 to 3 months|
|Fish, lean (cod, flounder, other)||1 to 2 days||Up to 6 months|
|Gravy||1 to 2 days||2 to 3 months|
|Ice cream, ice milk||Do not refrigerate||2 to 4 months|
|Lunch meat, opened package||3 to 5 days||1 to 2 months|
|Lunch meat, unopened package||2 weeks||1 to 2 months|
|Mayonnaise||2 months||Do not freeze|
|Milk||7 days||1 month|
|Pizza, cooked||3 to 4 days||1 to 2 months|
|Pork, chops||3 to 5 days||4 to 6 months|
|Pork, ground||1 to 2 days||3 to 4 months|
|Pork, roasts||3 to 5 days||4 to 6 months|
|Sausage||1 to 2 days||1 to 2 months|
|Soups, stews (with vegetables or meat)||3 to 4 days||2 to 3 months|
|Primary Medical Reviewer||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease|
|Last Revised||October 18, 2012|
Last Revised: October 18, 2012
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