The other day I opened my refrigerator and pulled out the gourmet Italian bologna I had been snacking on earlier in the week. However, I was greeted by that gross, gag-inducing old lunchmeat smell. Disappointed and shocked, I wondered: Just how long does fresh sliced deli meat last? I did some research and came across an incredibly useful chart that lists tons of ingredients and how long they last in the fridge or freezer.
According to the chart, my open luncheon meat lasts just three to five days in the fridge. To check out the shelf life of a bunch of common ingredients,
|Fresh eggs in their shells||3 to 5 weeks||Don't freeze||Raw eggs or yolks, out of the shell||2 to 4 days||1 year||Hard boiled eggs||1 week||Don't freeze well||Store-prepared (or homemade) egg, chicken, ham, tuna, macaroni salads||3 to 5 days||Don't freeze well||Hot dogs, opened package||1 week||1 to 2 months||Hot dogs, unopened package||2 weeks||1 to 2 months||Luncheon meats, opened package||3 to 5 days||1 to 2 months||Luncheon meats, unopened package||2 weeks||1 to 2 months||Bacon||7 days||1 month||Hamburger and stew meat||1 to 2 days||3 to 4 months||Steaks||3 to 5 days||6 to 12 months||Cooked meat and meat casseroles||3 to 4 days||2 to 3 months||Uncooked chicken or turkey, pieces||1 to 2 days||9 months||Cooked Poultry|| 6 months, unopened
3 to 4 weeks, opened
|4 months||Cheese, Hard (such as Cheddar, Swiss)||3 to 4 days||6 months||Cheese Soft (such as Brie, Bel Paese)||1 week||6 months||Cream Cheese||2 weeks||Doesn't freeze well||Milk||7 days||3 months||Butter||1 to 3 months||6 to 9 months||Fresh fish||1 to 2 days||2 to 3 months||Cooked fish||3 to 4 days||4 to 6 months||Shrimp, scallops, crayfish, squid, shucked clams, mussels and oysters||1 to 2 days||3 to 6 months||Cooked shellfish||3 to 4 days||3 months|
Don't see your ingredient on the list? Here is the complete list, which has even more items.