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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.


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