Chill: Refrigerate Promptly!

Product Refrigerator (40 °F) Freezer (0 °F)
Eggs
Fresh, in shell 3 to 5 weeks Don't freeze
Raw yolks, whites 2 to 4 days 1 year
Hardcooked 1 week Don't freeze well
Liquid pasteurized eggs, egg substitutes,
opened unopened
3 days 10 days Don't freeze well 1 year
Mayonnaise
commercial refrigerate after opening 2 months Doesn't freeze
Deli & Vacuum-Packed Products
Store-prepared (or homemade) egg, chicken, ham, tuna, macaroni salads 3 to 5 days Doesn't freeze well
Hot dogs & Luncheon Meats
Hot dogs,
opened package unopened package
1 week 2 weeks 1 to 2 months 1 to 2 months
Luncheon meats, opened package unopened package 3 to 5 days 2 weeks 1 to 2 months 1 to 2 months
Bacon & Sausage
Bacon 7 days 1 month
Sausage, raw from chicken, turkey, pork, beef 1 to 2 days 1 to 2 months
Smoked breakfast links, patties 7 days 1 to 2 months
Hard sausage--pepperoni, jerky sticks 2 to 3 weeks 1 to 2 months
Summer sausage--labeled "Keep Refrigerated"
opened unopened
3 weeks 3 months 1 to 2 months 1 to 2 months
Ham, Corned Beef
Corned beef, in pouch with pickling juices 5 to 7 days Drained, 1 month
Ham, canned--labeled "Keep Refrigerated"
opened unopened
3 to 5 days 6 to 9 months 1 to 2 months Doesn't freeze
Ham, fully cooked vacuum sealed at plant, undated, unopened 2 weeks 1 to 2 months
Ham, fully cooked vacuum sealed at plant, dated, unopened "use by" date on package 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
Hamburger, Ground & Stew Meat
Hamburger & stew meat 1 to 2 days 3 to 4 months
Ground turkey, veal, pork, lamb & mixtures of them 1 to 2 days 3 to 4 months
Fresh Beef, Veal, Lamb, Pork
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, liver, heart, kidneys, chitterlings 1 to 2 days 3 to 4 months
Pre-stuffed, uncooked pork chops, lamb chops, or chicken breast stuffed with dressing 1 day Don't freeze well
Soup & Stews
Vegetable or meat added 3 to 4 days 2 to 3 months
Meat Leftovers
Cooked meat and meat casseroles 3 to 4 days 2 to 3 months
Gravy and meat broth 1 to 2 days 2 to 3 months
Fresh Poultry
Chicken or turkey, whole 1 to 2 days 1 year
Chicken or turkey, pieces 1 to 2 days 9 months
Giblets 1 to 2 days 3 to 4 months
Cooked Poultry
Fried chicken 3 to 4 days 4 months
Cooked poultry casseroles 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
Pizza
Pizza 3 to 4 days 1 to 2 months
Stuffing
Stuffing - cooked 3 to 4 days 1 month
Beverages, Fruit
Juices in cartons, fruit drinks, punch 3 weeks unopened
7 to 10 days opened
8 to 12 months
Dairy
Butter 1 to 3 months 6 to 9 months
Buttermilk 7 to 14 days 3 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 week 6 months
Cottage Cheese, Ricotta 1 week Doesn't freeze well
Cream Cheese 2 weeks Doesn't freeze well
Cream - Whipped, ultrapasteurized 1 month Doesn't freeze
Cream - Whipped, Sweetened 1 day 1 to 2 months
Cream - Aerosol can, real whipped cream 3 to 4 weeks Doesn't freeze
Cream - Aerosol can, non dairy topping 3 months Doesn't freeze
Cream, Half and Half 3 to 4 days 4 months
Eggnog, commercial 3 to 5 days 6 months
Margarine 4 to 5 months 12 months
Milk 7 days 3 months
Pudding package date; 2 days after opening Doesn't freeze
Sour cream 7 to 21 days Doesn't freeze
Yogurt 7 to 14 days 1 to 2 months
Dough
Tube cans of rolls, biscuits, pizza dough, etc. Use-by-date Don't freeze
Ready-to-bake pie crust Use-by-date 2 months
Cookie dough Use-by-date unopened or opened 2 months
Fish
Lean fish (cod, flounder, haddock, sole, etc.) 1 to 2 days 6 months
Fatty fish (bluefish, mackerel, salmon, etc.) 1 to 2 days 2 to 3 months
Cooked fish 3 to 4 days 4 to 6 months
Smoked fish 14 days or date on vacuum package 2 months in vacuum package
Shellfish
Shrimp, scallops, crayfish, squid, shucked clams, mussels and oysters 1 to 2 days 3 to 6 months
Live clams, mussels, crab, lobster and oysters 2 to 3 days 2 to 3 months
Cooked shellfish 3 to 4 days 3 months

These short but safe time limits will help keep refrigerated foods from spoiling or becoming dangerous to eat. Because freezing keeps food safe indefinitely, recommended storage times are for quality only. Storage times are from date of purchase unless specified on chart. It is not important if a date expires after food is frozen.

Sources:
USDA, Food Safety and Inspection Service
The Food Keeper, The Food Marketing Institute
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Food Safety and Inspection Service www.fsis.usda.gov