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Freezer Storage Times for Frozen and Refrigerated Food

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  • Synopsis: Published: 2009-09-15 (Rev. 2016-03-14) - Freezer storage chart for preventing refrigerated and frozen foods from spoiling or becoming unsafe to eat. For further information pertaining to this article contact: Disabled World at www.disabled-world.com.

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"Refrigerated foods should always be stored at temperatures less than 40 degree F."

This chart gives suggested safe freezing time limits for keeping refrigerated and frozen foods from spoiling or becoming unsafe to eat.

Refrigerated foods should always be stored at temperatures less than 40 degree F.

Refrigerator Temperatures:

  • Dairy products should be stored at a temperature between 34 degree F - 38 degree F
  • Eggs should be stored between 33 degree F - 37 degree F
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables should be stored between 35 degree F - 40 degree F
  • Meats should be stored between 33 degree F - 36 degree F
  • You should always label and date frozen foods and store below 0 degree F. Frozen foods can be stored beyond the recommended storage time but quality may diminish.

Storage times are from date of purchase.

Also see What Vegetables Can I Freeze

ProductRefrigerator (40 degree F) Freezer (0 degree F)
Eggs
Raw eggs in shell3 to 5 weeksDo not freeze. Instead, beat yolks and whites together; then freeze.
Raw egg whites2 to 4 days12 months
Raw egg yolks2 to 4 daysYolks do not freeze well.
Raw egg accidentally frozen in shellUse immediately after thawing.Keep frozen; then
refrigerate to thaw.
Hard-cooked eggs1 weekDo not freeze.
Egg substitutes, liquid
(Unopened)
10 days12 months
Egg substitutes, liquid
(Opened)
3 daysDo not freeze.
Egg substitutes, frozen
(Unopened)
After thawing, 7 days or refer to "Use-By" date.12 months
Egg substitutes, frozen
(Opened)
After thawing, 3 days or refer to "Use-By" date.Do not freeze.
Casseroles with eggs3 to 4 daysAfter baking, 2 to 3 months.
Eggnog
(Commercial)
3 to 5 days6 months
Eggnog
(Homemade)
2 to 4 daysDo not freeze.
Pies
Pumpkin or pecan
3 to 4 daysAfter baking, 1 to 2 months.
Pies
Custard and chiffon
3 to 4 daysDo not freeze.
Quiche with filling3 to 4 daysAfter baking, 1 to 2 months.
Bacon & Sausage
Bacon7 days1 month
Sausage, raw from chicken, turkey, pork, beef1 to 2 days1 to 2 months
Beverages, Fruit
Juices in cartons, fruit drinks, punch3 weeks unopened
7 to 10 days opened
8 to 12 months
Cooked Poultry
Fried chicken3 to 4 days4 months
Pieces, plain3 to 4 days4 months
Chicken nuggets, patties1 to 2 days1 to 3 months
Dairy
Butter1 to 3 months6 to 9 months
Cheese, Hard (such as Cheddar, Swiss)6 months, unopened
3 to 4 weeks, opened
6 months
Cheese, Soft (such as Brie, Bel Paese)1 week6 months
Cottage Cheese, Ricotta1 weekDoesn't freeze well
Cream Cheese2 weeksDoesn't freeze well
Margarine4 to 5 months12 months
Milk7 days3 months
Sour cream7 to 21 daysDoesn't freeze
Yogurt7 to 14 days1 to 2 months
Fish
Lean fish (cod, flounder, haddock, sole, etc.)1 to 2 days6 months
Fatty fish (bluefish, mackerel, salmon, etc.)1 to 2 days2 to 3 months
Cooked fish3 to 4 days4 to 6 months
Smoked fish14 days or date on vacuum package2 months in vacuum package
Fresh Beef, Veal, Lamb, Pork
Steaks3 to 5 days6 to 12 months
Chops3 to 5 days4 to 6 months
Roasts3 to 5 days4 to 12 months
Fresh Poultry
Chicken or turkey, whole1 to 2 days1 year
Chicken or turkey, pieces1 to 2 days9 months
Ham
Ham, fully-cooked vacuum sealed at plant, undated, unopened2 weeks1 to 2 months
Ham, fully-cooked, whole7 days1 to 2 months
Hamburger, Ground & Stew Meat
Hamburger & stew meat; Ground turkey, veal, pork, lamb & mixtures of them1 to 2 days3 to 4 months
Hot dogs - Luncheon Meats
Hot dogs, opened package - Unopened package1 week2 weeks1 to 2 months1 to 2 months
Luncheon meats, opened package - Unopened package3 to 5 days2 weeks1 to 2 months1 to 2 months
Meat Leftovers
Cooked meat and meat casseroles3 to 4 days2 to 3 months
Gravy and meat broth1 to 2 days2 to 3 months
Pizza
Pizza3 to 4 days1 to 2 months
Shellfish
Shrimp, scallops, crayfish, squid, shucked clams, mussels and oysters1 to 2 days3 to 6 months
Live clams, mussels, crab, lobster and oysters2 to 3 days2 to 3 months
Cooked shellfish3 to 4 days3 months
Soup & Stews
Vegetable or meat added3 to 4 days2 to 3 months
Stuffing
Stuffing-cooked3 to 4 days1 month


Related:

  1. List of Vegetables That Can Be Frozen - Ian Langtree
  2. Always Read Food Labels and Cooking Instructions - U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  3. Health Cooking Tips for Longer Healthy Life - Izzy Morgan

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