Refrigerating and Freezing Common Foods

Fridges and freezers help us to store foods for longer, but just how long should you keep meat, soup and chicken in storage?

The following table indicates the approximate length of time you can safely store specific foods in the fridge or freezer.

Food - Fridge Freezer
Eggs Fresh, in shell 20 days Don't freeze
Hard cooked 7 days Don't freeze well
Raw yolks, whites 2 - 4 days 1 year
Liquid pasteurised eggs or egg substitutes (opened) 10 days 1 year
Liquid pasteurised eggs or egg substitutes (unopened) 3 days Don't freeze
Mayonnaise 60 days (refrigerate after opening) Don't freeze
Frozen Dinners   Don't refrigerate Freezer: 90 - 120 days (keep frozen until ready to serve)
Deli Products Egg, chicken, tuna, ham, macaroni salads 3 - 5 days Don't freeze well
Pre-stuffed pork & lamb chops, chicken breasts 1 day Don't freeze well
Store-cooked convenience meals 1 - 2 days Don't freeze well
Soups & Stews   3 - 4 days 60 - 90 days
Mince & Stew Meats Stew meats 1 - 2 days 90 - 120 days
Mince meat 1 - 2 days 90 - 120 days
Lunch Meats Lunch meats, opened 3 - 5 days 30 - 60 days in freezer wrap
Lunch meats, unopened 14 days 30 - 60 days
Bacon & Sausages Bacon 7 days 30 days
Raw pork, beef, or chicken sausages 1 - 2 days 30 - 60 days
Hard sausages (pepperoni, jerky sticks) 14 - 21 days 30 - 60 days
Ham & Corned Beef Corned beef (drained) 5 - 7 days 30 days
Ham, fully cooked, whole 7 days 30 - 60 days
Ham, fully cooked, half 3 - 5 days 30 - 60 days
Ham, fully cooked, slices 3 - 4 days 30 - 60 days
Meats, Fresh Beef steaks & Roasts 3 - 5 days 6 - 12 months
Pork chops, Pork & Veal Roasts 3 - 5 days 120 - 180 days
Lamb chops 3 - 5 days 6 - 9 months
Variety meats (tongue, brain, kidney, liver, heart) 1 - 2 days 90 - 120 days
Poultry, Fresh Chicken or turkey, whole 1 - 2 days 12 months
Chicken or turkey, pieces 1 - 2 days 9 months
Giblets 1 - 2 days 90 - 120 day
Poultry, Cooked Fried chicken, Plain chicken pieces 3 - 4 days 120 days
Cooked poultry dishes 3 - 4 days 120 - 180 days
Pieces, in broth or gravy 1 - 2 days 180 days
Chicken nuggets, patties 1 - 2 days 30 - 90 days

Source: University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

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