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How Long Meat And Other Foods Last in the Fridge and Freezer

Maximize your favorite food’s shelf life
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While it’s tempting to order takeout or whip up a quick dinner using canned goods, the fresh foods in your refrigerator continue to close in on their use-by date. If you want to avoid your chicken going rancid or your greens wilting, the Food and Drug Administration provides a refrigerator and freezer storage chart so you know just how long each food in your home is good for.

Bacon: Refrigerator

Bacon: refrigerator
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Bacon is without a doubt a breakfast staple. In fact, it’s one of the most iconic breakfast foods in America. When stored in the refrigerator, it lasts up to seven days.

Bacon: Freezer

Bacon: freezer
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When stored in the freezer, delicious bacon can be preserved for a month. And although bacon is a tried-and-true breakfast favorite, did you know you’ve likely been cooking it wrong this entire time

Sausage: Refrigerator

Sausage: refrigerator
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Sausage is quite a versatile food. It can be served for breakfast or dinner, and Midwesterners agree that it’s pretty awesome — sausage is one food they always keep on their breakfast table. But, unfortunately, it doesn’t stay good for long. In the refrigerator, raw sausage (regardless of whether it’s pork, chicken or beef) lasts for one to two days. 

Sausage: Freezer

Sausage: freezer
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If you want to keep your sausage fresh for a longer period of time, store it in the freezer where it can last for one to two months. Once it’s thawed, try using it in one of these famous New Orleans dishes.

Egg‌ ‌casserole:‌ ‌Refrigerator‌ ‌ ‌

Egg‌ ‌casserole:‌ ‌refrigerator‌ ‌ ‌
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Egg‌ ‌casserole‌ ‌is‌ ‌one‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌most‌ ‌comforting‌ ‌breakfast‌ ‌foods‌ ‌you‌ ‌can‌ ‌make.‌ ‌But‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌refrigerator,‌ ‌this‌ ‌‌best‌ ‌brunch‌ ‌recipe‌‌ ‌lasts‌ ‌for‌ ‌only‌ ‌three‌ ‌to‌ ‌four‌ ‌days.‌ 

Egg‌ ‌casserole:‌ ‌Freezer‌ ‌

Egg‌ ‌casserole:‌ ‌freezer‌ ‌
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Cooked‌ ‌breakfast‌ ‌casseroles‌ ‌are‌ ‌a‌ ‌great‌ ‌bang‌ ‌for‌ ‌your‌ ‌buck,‌ ‌especially‌ ‌if‌ ‌you‌ ‌store‌ ‌them‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌freezer,‌ ‌where‌ ‌they‌ ‌can‌ ‌last‌ ‌for‌ ‌two‌ ‌to‌ ‌three‌ ‌months.‌ ‌As‌ ‌one‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌‌best‌ ‌comfort‌ ‌foods‌ ‌you‌ ‌can‌ ‌make‌ ‌and‌ ‌freeze‌ ‌for‌ ‌a‌ ‌weeknight‌,‌ ‌casseroles‌ ‌are‌ ‌a‌ ‌great‌ ‌addition‌ ‌to‌ ‌your‌ ‌weekly‌ ‌meal‌ ‌rotation.‌

Hard-boiled eggs: Refrigerator

Hard-boiled eggs: refrigerator
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There are so many different ways to cook eggs, and a common practice is hard boiling them. While you may know the best way to peel a hard-boiled egg, you may not know this protein-packed food lasts for one week in the refrigerator. The FDA warns against freezing hard-boiled eggs.

Fresh eggs: Refrigerator

Fresh eggs: refrigerator
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While the FDA warns against freezing fresh eggs, fresh eggs do last in the refrigerator for up to five weeks. This rule of thumb applies whether you buy brown or white eggs.

Egg substitutes: Refrigerator

Egg substitutes: refrigerator
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Liquid pasteurized eggs or egg substitutes last in the refrigerator for three days opened and 10 days unopened. Try using egg substitutes to make one of these breakfast-in-bed recipes.

Egg substitutes: Freezer

Egg substitutes: freezer
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If you choose to freeze egg substitutes, be sure to leave the packaging unopened. They will last for up to one year. But keep in mind, whether you use egg substitutes or real eggs, this is the best way to make scrambled eggs.

Egg whites: Refrigerator

Egg whites: refrigerator
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If you find yourself getting bored of the same old recipes, there are at least 50 different ways to cook an egg. But keep in mind, egg whites last in the refrigerator for only two to four days.

Egg whites: Freezer

Egg whites: freezer
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Eggs are a dependable food, the only thing that’s really changed about them is how much they cost compared to the year you were born. And how people have started separating the egg from the yolk. If you choose to freeze egg whites, they can last for up to one year. Yolks, however, should not be frozen.

Tuna salad: Refrigerator

Tuna salad: refrigerator
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While dishes like tuna noodle casserole make the cut of vintage recipes no one makes anymore, but should, lunchtime classics like tuna salad will never go out of style. Whether you buy it from the store or make it at home, tuna salad is only good for three to five days. But don’t freeze it, the FDA says. The same goes for other mayonnaise-based salads like egg salad, chicken salad and macaroni salad.

Ground meats: Refrigerator

Ground meats: refrigerator
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While no one whips up a burger quite like the best sandwich spot in your state, one can certainly still try. But, don’t forget, ground beef, turkey, veal, pork, lamb and mixed ground meats are only good for one to two days when stored in the fridge.

Ground meats: Freezer

Ground meats: freezer
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Hamburger meat is a tried-and-true American classic. And when it’s stored in the freezer, this delicious food and other ground meats can last for three to four months. Get some dinner inspiration from some of the best burgers in America.

Corned beef: Refrigerator

Corned beef: refrigerator
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Corned beef, a popular Irish food, can last in the fridge for five to seven days if stored in pickling juices.

Corned beef: Freezer

Corned beef: freezer
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One of the most brilliant meal prepping hacks is preparing your protein ahead of time and freezing it. If you give this a go with corned beef, it will stay good in the freezer for one month as long as it’s drained of any pickling juices.

Cooked ham: Refrigerator

Cooked ham: refrigerator
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Many family feasts aren’t complete without a delicious ham as the main attraction. It’s a pretty traditional dish, but did you know you can make ham in a variety of creative ways? And the best part is that cooked ham can last in the fridge for an entire week.

Cooked ham: Freezer

Cooked ham: freezer
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In the freezer, cooked ham can last for up to two months. And if you want to try your hand at perfecting this flavorful dish, follow this step-by-step guide for cooking the perfect ham.

Frozen dinners

Frozen dinners
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There’s no denying that some of the most comforting dishes come frozen. But before scooping up the last box of Stouffer's mac and cheese, be sure to check out the nutritional facts because some of your favorite frozen dinners might actually be pretty unhealthy. And another bit of upsetting information: Frozen dinners last for only three to four months, not forever.

Gravy: Refrigerator

Gravy: refrigerator
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Gravy is a classic addition to any meal. In fact, it’s one dish that Southerners always have on their breakfast table. But, unfortunately, leftover meat gravy only lasts in the fridge for up to two days.

Gravy: Freezer

Gravy: freezer
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In the freezer, though, gravy has some major survival skills. You can store it in the freezer for two to three months.

Steak: Refrigerator

Steak: refrigerator
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Warmer weather means it’s the perfect time to fire up the grill and welcome spring’s arrival by cooking the perfect steak. But be sure to act fast because steak only stays fresh in the fridge for up to five days.

Steak: Freezer

Steak: freezer
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If you want to maximize your steak’s shelf life, you should consider storing it in the freezer, where it can last for six to 12 months. And although dishes like steak, chicken and turkey are common household meats, did you know you could be cooking them incorrectly?

Chops: Refrigerator

Chops: refrigerator
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Pork chops, lamb chops and veal chops make for some great celebratory meals. Next time you cook a festive meal for your family, try whipping up lamb chops or other recipes that aren’t ham. According to the FDA, chops last in the refrigerator for three to five days.

Chops: Freezer

Chops: freezer
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Chops truly thrive in the freezer, where they can last for up to six months. And a great way to store them is with reusable silicone bags — one of the most eco-friendly things you can buy at the grocery store.

Chicken: Refrigerator

Chicken: refrigerator
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In the refrigerator, uncooked chicken can last for one to two days, while cooked poultry can last for three to four days. And if you’re considering breaking out the grill soon, make sure you’re up to date on all of the mistakes everyone makes while grilling chicken.

Chicken: Freezer

Chicken: freezer
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There are endless ways to use leftover chicken, which is good news for you because raw chicken can survive in the freezer for up to one year when kept whole. Raw poultry pieces last up to nine months frozen.

Fried chicken: Refrigerator

Fried chicken: refrigerator
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Fried chicken is undeniably a crowd favorite, and KFC is home to some fast food menu items with a cult following. But, if you’re trying to make more meals at home, remember that fried chicken lasts in the fridge for only three to four days.

Fried chicken: Freezer

Fried chicken freezer
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In the freezer, fried chicken is good for four months. That’s a lot of delicious dinners to look forward to. And while fried chicken may not be the healthiest dish, one kitchen hack grandma taught you is to not be afraid of a little fat.

Chicken nuggets: Refrigerator

Chicken nuggets: refrigerator
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Chicken nuggets drip with nostalgia, and now is as good of a time as any to make our favorite childhood dinners. If cooked chicken nuggets and french fries make the cut for dinner tonight, don’t forget that they have a fridge life of three to four days.

Chicken nuggets: Freezer

Chicken nuggets: freezer
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Or toss those bad boys in the freezer, where chicken nuggets and chicken patties can survive for one to three months. After chowing down on some nuggets, go full circle by whipping up some childhood desserts you forgot existed.

Hot dogs: Refrigerator

Hot dogs: refrigerator
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Hot dogs are one of the easiest foods to whip up. But before making this classic dish, brush up on the healthiest and unhealthiest hot dogs; you’d be surprised at which ones you should avoid. An opened package of hot dogs can last in the fridge for one week; unopened hot dogs are good for two weeks.

Hot dogs: Freezer

Hot dogs: freezer
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Hot dogs, which can last in the freezer opened or unopened for up to two months, are a summer favorite. But have you ever wondered what store-bought hot dogs are really made of? Spoiler: They’re not just made of meat.

Opened lunchmeat: Refrigerator

Opened lunchmeat: refrigerator
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There weren’t many better feelings than opening up your lunch box at school and seeing a sandwich jam-packed with cold cuts. And although healthier lunch options are one way things have changed since you went to school, it doesn’t change the fact that lunchmeat is great. When opened, deli slices can last for three to five days.

Unopened lunchmeat: Refrigerator

Unopened lunchmeat: refrigerator
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Unopened lunchmeat, when stored in the refrigerator, can last for three to five weeks. But when you do choose to open it up, avoid storing any sandwiches you make in sandwich bags — they’re one of the least eco-friendly things you can buy at the store.

Lunchmeat: Freezer

Lunchmeat: freezer
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If you choose to store lunchmeat in the freezer, an opened or unopened package can last for one to two months. When tossing some cold cuts into an elongated sandwich, ask yourself whether you call it a sub, hoagie or hero — it’s one of the greatest food debates of our generation.

Turkey: Refrigerator

Turkey: refrigerator
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Turkey is an amazing addition to the dinner table, but most people only make the dish around the holidays. Because of that, there are many common mistakes people make when cooking turkey. One thing to keep in mind is that in the fridge, turkey can last uncooked for one to two days.

Turkey: Freezer

Turkey: freezer
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If you can find room in your freezer to store a turkey, you’re in luck because it can last for up to one year. And when the time comes to thaw out your bird, don’t forget to pick which cooking method is best for you — air fry, oven roast or deep fry?

Cooked fish: Refrigerator

Cooked fish: refrigerator
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Great seafood is hard to come by. And a good rule of thumb is to make sure your fish is still fresh before eating it. If you store it in the fridge, cooked fish can last for three to four days.

Cooked fish: Freezer

Cooked fish: freezer
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If you want to start gearing up for summer right now, then you should consider freezing any fish you cook, because it can last in there for up to 6 months.

Smoked fish: Refrigerator

Smoked fish: refrigerator
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Fish doesn’t just taste amazing, it’s also pretty good for you too. The supplement fish oil is derived from the tissues of, well, oily fish. But if you choose to eat your fish rather than get your fill in supplement form, remember that, when smoked, fish can last in the fridge for two weeks.

Smoked fish: Freezer

Smoked fish: freezer
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When it’s stored in the freezer, smoked fish can last for two months.

Fresh fish: Refrigerator

Fresh fish: refrigerator
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Lean and fatty fish, or fresh fish, can stay good when stored in the refrigerator for one to two days, so make sure you cook it soon after purchasing.

Fresh fish: Freezer

Fresh fish: freezer
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The period of time that fresh fish can last in the freezer varies. Fatty fish can be preserved for two to three months in the freezer, while lean fish can last for six to eight months. And luckily, fish is one freezer meal that makes for a quick and easy dinner.

Shellfish: Refrigerator

Shellfish: refrigerator
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If you want to try your hand at making Louisiana Cajun and Creole food at home, you’re likely considering purchasing some crawfish, or even some shrimp. If you’re planning to store it in the refrigerator, just remember that fresh shellfish lasts for only one to two days.

Shellfish: Freezer

Shellfish: freezer
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In the freezer, shellfish can last for two months.

Canned seafood: Refrigerator

Canned seafood: refrigerator
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If you’re spending more time at home with your kids, you’re likely searching for some easy lunch options. And what’s easier than canned tuna? When unopened, canned seafood can last in your pantry for five years. After opening it, it’s good for up to four days.

Canned seafood: Freezer

Canned seafood: freezer
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An opened container of canned seafood can last for two months in the freezer. And if your seafood of choice is lobster or crab, we recommend using it on a sandwich instead of making a bisque, which is one food you should never make from home.

Soup: Refrigerator

Soup: refrigerator
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The best, most comforting soups are always the ones that taste most like home. And everyone knows that you don’t just make one bowl of soup and call it a day — there are always plenty of leftovers. When stored in the refrigerator, soup can last for three to four days.

Soup: Freezer

Soup: freezer
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Thick soups like clam chowder and cream of mushroom are great ways to finish off a gallon of milk. But did you know that you can freeze soup and save it for up to two months?

Broth: Refrigerator

Broth: refrigerator
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Beef, chicken and vegetable broth are the building blocks of some of the best home-cooked meals. When stored in the refrigerator, broth can last for one to two days.

Broth: Freezer

Broth: freezer
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After making some broth, don’t leave it in the fridge until it’s time to be thrown away. Instead, store it in the freezer where it can last for two to three months. In fact, freezing your leftovers is just one of many ways to make your food last longer.

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