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How Long Can I Store Foods in the Freezer and Fridge?

How Long Will It Last?

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,


Food Storage Chart
Ingredient Refrigerator Freezer
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.


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