Home > Kids > Childhood Safety > Food Safety > Safe Storage Times for Refrigerated or Frozen Foods

Safe Storage Times for Refrigerated or Frozen Foods

Product Refrigeration (40°F or less) Freezer (0°F)
Baked Goods    
Unbaked bread   1 month
Baked, unfrosted cake (angel food, chiffon, sponge or cheesecake)   2-3 months
Baked, unfrosted chocolate, pound, white or yellow cake   4-6 months
Citrus fruit and homemade frozen juices 6 days 6 months
Fruit juice concentrates   12 months
Meat, fish or poultry 3-4 days 2-3 months
Mayonnaise, commercial, opened 2 months DO NOT FREEZE
Hard cheese 2-3 weeks 4 months (thaw in refrigerator)
Hard cheese 2-3 weeks 4 months (thaw in refrigerator) 4-8 months in FoodSaver bag
Soft cheese 5 days DO NOT FREEZE
Butter 5 days 6-9 months
Cream 5 days 2 months (thaw in refrigerator; heavy cream will not whip after freezing)
Fresh eggs in shell 3-5 weeks DO NOT FREEZE
Raw egg whites and yolks 2-4 days 12 months
Hard-cooked eggs 7 days DO NOT FREEZE
Pasteurized egg substitute, unopened 10 days  
Pasteurized egg substitute, opened 3 days  
Cooked egg dishes 3-4 days 12 months
Margarine 4-5 months 1 month (thaw in refrigerator; best if used for cooking and baking)
Milk 7 days  
Buttermilk, sour cream or yogurt 7 days DO NOT FREEZE
Bluefish, perch, mackerel or salmon 1-2 days 2-3 months
Breaded fish 1-2 days 3 months
Cod, flounder, haddock or sole 1-2 days 6 months
Shellfish, cooked 1-2 days 3 months
Shellfish, uncooked 1-2 days 3-6 months
Frozen Foods    
Ice cream, ice milk, sherbet   2 months
TV dinners, frozen casseroles   3-4 months
Apples 1-3 weeks DO NOT FREEZE
Berries, cherries, peaches, pears, pineapple, etc. 1-2 days 12 months
Fresh, uncut limes 1 month  
Fresh, cut limes (in plastic bag) 5 days  
Melons 7 days DO NOT FREEZE
Strawberries 3 days 12 months
Ground beef, raw 1-2 days 2-3 months
Hot dogs, unopened 2 weeks 1-2 months
Hot dogs, opened package 1 week 1-2 months
Luncheon meat, unopened 2 weeks 1-2 months
Luncheon meat, opened 3-5 days 1-2 months
Steaks or chops, uncooked 2-3 days 4-6 months
Cooked meat and meat casseroles 3-4 days 2-3 months
Chicken, whole or cut up, uncooked 1-2 days 3 months
Cooked 3-4 days 3-4 months
Cooked casseroles 3-4 days 4-6 months
Vegetable or meat 3-4 days 2-3 months
Home frozen   10 months
Fresh: asparagus, corn in husks, beans (green or wax), mushrooms, shredded cabbage, leaf and bib lettuce, salad greens, tomatoes (ripe) or cabbage 1-2 days All vegetables: 1-2 years in vacuum-packed FoodSaver bags
Head lettuce (washed and drained), unshelled peas, lima beans and or spinach 3-5 days  
Beets, cabbage, carrots, celery and radishes 7-14 days  
Purchased frozen packages (cartons, plastic bags or boil-in bags)   8 months
Other Foods    
Gravy, broth 1-2 days  
Canned fruits, opened 7 days  
Canned vegetables, opened 2-3 days  
Puddings or custards, opened 1-2 days  
Pizza 3-4 days 1-2 months
Stuffing, cooked 3-4 days 1 month
Prepared deli salads (chicken, egg, tuna, macaroni or potato) 3-5 days DO NOT FREEZE
Unopened vacuum-packed dinners with 2 weeks  

Excerpted from Cook Once, Eat for a Week by Jyl Steinback. Copyright © 2003 by Family Fit Lifestyle, an Arizona Corporation.

To order this book go to Amazon.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

easter fun
& crafts

Egg-cellent ideas
for tons of
Easter fun.



Healthy Smile Checklist for Kids
Have better dental check-ups with this free printable checklist that helps keep your child flossing, brushing, and smiling! Brought to you by Philips Sonicare.

Kindergarten Readiness App
It's kindergarten registration time! Use this interactive kindergarten readiness checklist, complete with fun games and activities, to practice the essential skills your child needs for this next big step. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

8 Easter Egg Decorating Ideas
Need some fun ideas for decorating Easter eggs with the kids? Look no further for colorful and cool designs!

7 Ways to Curb Kids' Exposure to Violence
American children are exposed to violence more often than you might think. Learn how to limit your child's exposure to violence and manage the mental health and behavioral effects it can cause.