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The Shelf Life of Refrigerated Foods


Woman Taking Broccoli From Fridge
gerenme/ Vetta/ Getty Images

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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Food Shelf Life Resources
Meat and Seafood    
Bacon 7 days  
Chicken or turkey 1-2 days  
Chops (pork, veal, lamb) 3-5 days  
Fish and shellfish 1-2 days uncooked, 3-5 days cooked  
Ground meats 1-2 days  
Ham, canned 6-9 months unopened, 3-5 days opened  
Ham, fully cooked, half 3-5 days  
Ham, fully cooked, slices 3-4 days  
Ham, fully cooked, whole 7 days  
Hot dogs 2 weeks unopened, 1 week opened  
Lunch Meat 2 weeks unopened, 3-5 days opened  
Organ meats 1-2 days  
Roast 3-5 days  
Sausage, hard (ex: pepperoni) 2-3 weeks  
Sausage, smoked 7 days  
Sausage, summer 3 months unopened, 3 weeks opened  
Sausage, uncooked 1-2 days  
Steak 3-5 days  
Butter 1-3 months  
Buttermilk 2 weeks Use Up Buttermilk
Cheese, hard 6 months unopened, 3-4 weeks opened  
Cheese, processed slices 1-2 months  
Cheese, soft 1 week Make Your Own Cheese
Coffee cream 10 days  
Egg Substitute 10 days unopened, 3 days opened  
Eggs 3-5 weeks in the shell, 2-4 days out of shell  
Heavy cream 10 days Use Up Heavy Cream
Milk 1 week  
Sour cream 1-3 weeks Use Up Sour Cream
Whipped cream (can) 3 months  
Yogurt 1-2 weeks How to Make Greek Yogurt
Chili sauce 6 months  
Chutney 1-2 months  
Cocktail sauce 6 months  
Horseradish 3-4 months  
Jams, Jellies 6 months after opening  
Ketchup 6 months  
Mayonnaise 2 months  
Mustard I year  
Olives 2 weeks  
Pickles 2 weeks  
Salad dressing 2 months Salad Dressing Recipes
Meat or poultry 3-4 days  
Broth 2 days  
Casseroles 3-4 days  
Egg dishes 3-4 days  
Fish 3-4 days  
Gravy 3-4 days  
Hard-boiled eggs 1 week  
Milk, condensed 4-5 days Uses Up Sweetened Condensed Milk
Milk, evaporated 4-5 days Use Up Evaporated Milk
Pasta 1-2 days Uses for Leftover Pasta
Pizza 3-4 days  
Salads (egg, chicken, macaroni, etc. 3-5 days  
Soups and stews 3-4 days  
Spaghetti sauce 4 days  
Coffee, can or bag 2 weeks  
Lemonade 6 days  
Orange juice 6 days  
Soda 2-3 days  
Flour, whole wheat 6-8 months  
Rolls, yeast 1 week  
    ©Erin Huffstetler Frugalliving.about.com

Sources: USDA, Food Marketing Institute

See Also:

  1. About.com
  2. Money
  3. Frugal Living
  4. Food Savings
  5. Grocery Savings
  6. Stockpiling
  7. The Shelf Life of Refrigerated Foods

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