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The Shelf Life of Refrigerated Foods

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Learn how long foods stay fresh in the fridge, so you don't eat something you shouldn't or toss something out before you should. The following chart lists the shelf life of everything from ketchup to leftovers:

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FoodShelf LifeResources
Meat and Seafood  
Bacon7 days 
Chicken or turkey1-2 days 
Chops (pork, veal, lamb)3-5 days 
Fish and shellfish1-2 days uncooked, 3-5 days cooked 
Ground meats1-2 days 
Ham, canned6-9 months unopened, 3-5 days opened 
Ham, fully cooked, half3-5 days 
Ham, fully cooked, slices3-4 days 
Ham, fully cooked, whole7 days 
Hot dogs2 weeks unopened, 1 week opened 
Lunch Meat2 weeks unopened, 3-5 days opened 
Organ meats1-2 days 
Roast3-5 days 
Sausage, hard (ex: pepperoni)2-3 weeks 
Sausage, smoked7 days 
Sausage, summer3 months unopened, 3 weeks opened 
Sausage, uncooked1-2 days 
Steak3-5 days 
Dairy  
Butter1-3 months 
Buttermilk2 weeksUse Up Buttermilk
Cheese, hard6 months unopened, 3-4 weeks opened 
Cheese, processed slices1-2 months 
Cheese, soft1 weekMake Your Own Cheese
Coffee cream10 days 
Egg Substitute10 days unopened, 3 days opened 
Eggs3-5 weeks in the shell, 2-4 days out of shell 
Heavy cream10 daysUse Up Heavy Cream
Milk1 week 
Sour cream1-3 weeksUse Up Sour Cream
Whipped cream (can)3 months 
Yogurt1-2 weeksHow to Make Greek Yogurt
Condiments  
Chili sauce6 months 
Chutney1-2 months 
Cocktail sauce6 months 
Horseradish3-4 months 
Jams, Jellies6 months after opening 
Ketchup6 months 
Mayonnaise2 months 
MustardI year 
Olives2 weeks 
Pickles2 weeks 
Salad dressing2 monthsSalad Dressing Recipes
Leftovers  
Meat or poultry3-4 days 
Broth2 days 
Casseroles3-4 days 
Egg dishes3-4 days 
Fish3-4 days 
Gravy3-4 days 
Hard-boiled eggs1 week 
Milk, condensed4-5 daysUses Up Sweetened Condensed Milk
Milk, evaporated4-5 daysUse Up Evaporated Milk
Pasta1-2 daysUses for Leftover Pasta
Pizza3-4 days 
Salads (egg, chicken, macaroni, etc.3-5 days 
Soups and stews3-4 days 
Spaghetti sauce4 days 
Drinks  
Coffee, can or bag2 weeks 
Lemonade6 days 
Orange juice6 days 
Soda2-3 days 
Other  
Flour, whole wheat6-8 months 
Rolls, yeast1 week 
  ©Erin Huffstetler Frugalliving.about.com

Sources: USDA, Food Marketing Institute

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