Certain food items always find their way into your fridge, from eggs to that jar of mustard you don’t remember buying — but how long do your favorite fridge staples really last?
Click here for the 14 Staples That Are Always in Your Fridge and How Long It's Safe to Keep Them There slideshow.
While expiration dates
can often be overly cautious, and the inconsistent lingo
(sell-by, best-by, and expiration) stamped on your favorite foods might leave you confused, we have some helpful guides to help you make sure your fridge isn’t cluttered with foods that should have been tossed eons ago.
While your favorite cheese, fruit, or yogurt may not sit on the shelf long enough for you to worry, other items like butter, jams, and mayonnaise may sit for months half empty. Keep your family safe from food poisoning by minding expiration dates, and your recipes tasting their best with properly stored food items.
Use a thermometer to ensure that your fridge is set to the proper temperature of 40 degrees F. Remember to wrap, seal, or store all food in airtight containers in the fridge to lock in flavor and keep out unwanted odors. Also, remember to organize your fridge so that raw meats are at the bottom in a package that will contain any juices and prepared foods are safely stored above any potentially contaminating foods.
To keep your fridge well-stocked and clean, check out these 14 foods that are always in your fridge and how long they should stay there.
In order to lengthen butter’s shelf-life, keep it in the freezer. Butter
will keep six to nine months in the freezer after the sell-by date, and one month in the refrigerator. Store butter in the freezer
, and take out a stick at a time to store in the refrigerator.
Cheese (Hard and Soft)
If you are like most of us and have a strong affinity for cheese
, then you need to know how long your cherished block of Cheddar will keep in the fridge. Hard cheeses like Cheddar or Swiss will last three to four weeks in the refrigerator wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or cheese paper
, Soft cheeses, unfortunately, have a shorter shelf life and should be consumed within a week or two after opening.
Angela Carlos is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Find her on Twitter and tweet @angelaccarlos.