Cold Storage Chart

Select a food category to view the USDA's recommended refrigerator and freezer storage time limits. The listed time limits will help keep refrigerated food (40°F) from spoiling and provide safe food protection. Because freezing (0°F) keeps food safe for long periods of time, the recommended storage times for the freezer are for quality only.

Click on the category below or scroll to see all categories.

Bacon & Sausage Meat (Beef, Veal, Lamb & Pork)
Beverages, Fruit Meat Leftovers
Dairy Pizza
Deli & Vacuum-packed Products Poultry, Cooked
Dough Poultry, Fresh
Eggs Seafood, Fish
Ham, Corned Beef Seafood, Shellfish
Hamburger, Ground & Stew Meat Soups & Stews
Hogs Dogs & Luncheon Meats Stuffing
Mayonnaise, Commercial  

Bacon and Sausage Refrigerator (40°F) Freezer (0°F)
Bacon 7 days 1 month
Sausage, raw from pork, beef, chicken or turkey 1-2 days 1-2 months
Smoked breakfast links, patties 7 days 1-2 months
Hard sausage - pepperoni, jerky sticks 2-3 days 1-2 months
Summer sausage labeled "Keep Refrigerated" - unopened 3 months 1-2 months
Summer sausage labeled "Keep Refrigerated" - opened 3 weeks 1-2 months

Beverages, Fruit Refrigerator (40°F) Freezer (0°F)
Juices in cartons, fruit drinks, punch - unopened 3 weeks 8-12 months
Juices in cartons, fruit drinks, punch - opened 7-10 days 8-12 months

Dairy Refrigerator (40°F) Freezer (0°F)
Butter 1-3 months 6-9 months
Buttermilk 7-14 days 3 months
Cheese, hard (such as Cheddar, Swiss) - unopened 6 months 6 months
Cheese, hard - opened 3-4 weeks 6 months
Cheese, soft (such as Brie, Bel Paese) 1 week 6 months
Cottage Cheese, Ricotta 1 week Doesn't freeze well
Cream Cheese 2 weeks Doesn't freeze well
Cream - Whipped, ultrapasteurized 1 month Doesn't freeze
Cream - Whipped, sweetened 1 day 1-2 months
Cream - Aerosol can, real whipped cream 3-4 weeks Doesn't freeze
Cream - Aerosol can, non-dairy topping 3 months Doesn't freeze
Cream, Half and Half 3-4 days 4 months
Eggnog, commercial 3-5 days 6 months
Margarine 4-5 months 12 months
Milk 7 days 3 months
Pudding Package date or 2 days after opening Doesn't freeze
Sour cream 7-21 days Doesn't freeze
Yogurt 7-14 days 1-2 months

Deli & Vacuum-packed Products Refrigerator (40°F) Freezer (0°F)
Store-prepared (or homemade) egg, chicken, tuna, ham, macaroni salads 3-5 days Doesn't freeze well

Dough Refrigerator (40°F) Freezer (0°F)
Tube cans of rolls, biscuits, pizza dough, etc. Use by date Don't freeze
Ready-to-bake pie crust Use by date 2 months
Cookie dough Use by date 2 months

Eggs Refrigerator (40°F) Freezer (0°F)
Fresh, in shell 3-5 weeks Don't freeze
Raw yolks, whites 2-4 days 1 year
Hard-cooked 1 week Doesn't freeze well
Liquid pasteurized eggs or substitutes - unopened 10 days 1 year
Liquid pasteurized eggs or substitutes - opened 3 days Doesn't freeze well

Ham, Corned Beef Refrigerator (40°F) Freezer (0°F)
Corned beef in pouch with pickling juices 5-7 days drained, 1 month
Ham, canned, labeled "Keep Refrigerated" - unopened 6-9 months Doesn't freeze
Ham, canned, labeled "Keep Refrigerated" - opened 3-5 days 1-2 months
Ham, fully cooked vacuum sealed at plant, undated, unopened 2 weeks 1-2 months
Ham, fully cooked vacuum sealed at plant, dated, unopened Use by Date 1-2 months
Ham, fully cooked, whole 7 days 1-2 months
Ham, fully cooked, half 3-5 days 1-2 months
Ham, fully cooked, slices 3-4 days 1-2 months

Hamburger, Ground and Stew Meat Refrigerator (40°F) Freezer (0°F)
Hamburger and stew meat 1-2 days 3-4 months
Ground turkey, veal, pork, lamb and mixtures of them 1-2 days 3-4 months

Hot Dogs and Luncheon Meats Refrigerator (40°F) Freezer (0°F)
Hot Dogs, unopened package 2 weeks 1-2 months
Hot Dogs, opened package 1 week 1-2 months
Luncheon meats, unopened package 2 weeks 1-2 months
Luncheon meats, opened package 3-5 days 1-2 months

Mayonnaise, Commercial Refrigerator (40°F) Freezer (0°F)
Refrigerate after opening 2 months Doesn't freeze

Meat (Beef, Veal, Lamb & Pork) Refrigerator (40°F) Freezer (0°F)
Steaks 3-5 days 6-12 months
Chops 3-5 days 4-6 months
Roasts 3-5 days 4-12 months
Variety meats (tongue, kidneys, liver, heart, chitterlings) 1-2 days 3-4 months
Pre-stuffed uncooked pork chops, lamb chops, or chicken breasts stuffed with dressing 1 day Doesn't freeze well

Meat Leftovers Refrigerator (40°F) Freezer (0°F)
Cooked meat and meat casseroles 3-4 days 2-3 months
Gravy and meat broth 1-2 days 2-3 months

Pizza Refrigerator (40°F) Freezer (0°F)
Pizza 3-4 days 1-2 months

Poultry, Cooked Refrigerator (40°F) Freezer (0°F)
Fried chicken 3-4 days 4 months
Cooked poultry casseroles 3-4 days 4-6 months
Pieces, plain 3-4 days 4 months
Pieces covered with broth, gravy 1-2 days 6 months
Chicken nuggets, patties 1-2 days 1-3 months

Poultry, Fresh Refrigerator (40°F) Freezer (0°F)
Chicken or turkey, whole 1-2 days 1 year
Chicken or turkey, pieces 1-2 days 9 months
Giblets 1-2 days 3-4 months

Seafood, Fish Refrigerator (40°F) Freezer (0°F)
Lean fish (cod, flounder, haddock, sole, etc.) 1-2 days 6 months
Fatty fish (bluefish, mackerel, salmon, etc.) 1-2 days 2-3 months
Cooked fish 3-4 days 4-6 months
Smoked fish 14 days or date on vacuum package 2 months in vacuum package

Seafood, Shellfish Refrigerator (40°F) Freezer (0°F)
Shrimp, scallops, crayfish, squid, shucked clams, mussels and oysters 1-2 days 3-6 months
Live clams, mussels, crab, lobster and oysters 2-3 days 2-3 months
Cooked shellfish 3-4 days 3 months

Soups and Stews Refrigerator (40°F) Freezer (0°F)
Vegetable or meat added 3-4 days 2-3 months

Stuffing Refrigerator (40°F) Freezer (0°F)
Cooked stuffing 3-4 days 1 month