The Food Keeper

The Food Keeper contains valuable storage advice to help you maintain the freshness and quality of foods.  Some foods deteriorate quickly, while the quality of other items may last longer than expected.  This is why the storage times listed in the accompany charts are intended as useful guidelines, not hard and fast rules.

PRODUCTREFRIGERATEDFROZEN
DAIRY PRODUCTS
Cheese, hard (such as cheddar, swiss, block parmesan6-months unopened, 3-4 weeks opened6 months
Parmesan, shredded1 month opened3-4 months
Shredded cheddar, mozzarella, etc.1 month   3-4 months
Cheese, processed sliced1-2 monthsDoesn’t freeze well
Cheese, soft (such as Brie, Bel Pasese)1 week6 months
Eggs, in shell3-5 weeksDo not freeze
raw whites, yolks*2-4 days12 months
hard cooked1 weekDoesn’t freeze well
Yogurt7-14 days1-2 months
FISH
Lean fish (cod, flounder, haddock, halibut, sole, etc)1-2 days6-8 months
Fatty fish (bluefish, mackerel, mullet, salmon, tuna, etc.)1-2 days2-3 months
Cooked fish, all3-4 days1-2 months
SHELLFISH
Shrimp, scallops, crayfish, squid1-2 days3-6 months
Live clams, mussels, crab and oysters1-2 days2-3 months
Live lobsters1-2 days2-3 months
Lobster tails1-2 days6 months
Cooked shellfish, all3-4 days3 months
MEAT, FRESH
Beef, lamb, pork or veal chops, steaks, roasts3-5 days4-12 months
Ground meat1-2 days3-4 months
Cooked meats (after home cooking)3-4 days2-3 months
MEAT, SMOKED OR PROCESSED
Corned beef, in pouch with pickling juices5-7 days1 month
Ham, canned (Keep Refrigerated label)6-9 monthsDo not freeze
Ham, fully cooked, whole1 week1-2 months
Ham, fully cooked, slices or half3-4 days1-2 months
Hot dogs, sealed in package2 weeks1-2 months
Hot dogs, after opening1 week1-2 months
Lunch meats, sealed in package2 weeks1-2 months
Lunch meats, after opening3-5 days1-2 months
POULTRY, FRESH
Chicken or turkey, whole1-2 days12 months
Chicken or turkey, parts1-2 days9 months
POULTRY, COOKED OR PROCESSED
Cooked poultry dishes3-4 days4-6 months
Fried chicken3-4 days4 months
Rotisserie chicken3-4 days4 months
DELI FOODS
Salads, containing meat, fish, poultry or eggs3-4 daysDon’t freeze
Salads, vegetable3-5 daysDon’t freeze
Side dishes such as cooked vegetables, rice or potatoes3-4 days1-2 months
Fruit, cutPackaged Date: 4 days after openingDon’t freeze
PRODUCTSHELF LIFEREFRIGERATEDFROZEN
FRUITS
Apples1-2 days3 weeksCooked, 8 months
BananasUntil Ripe2 days, skin will blackenWhole peeled, 1 month
Melons1-2 days3-4 daysBalls, 1 month
Peaches, nectarinesUntil Ripe3-4 daysSliced, lemon juice & sugar, 2 months
VEGETABLES
Asparagus 3-4 days8 months
Beans, green or wax 3-4 days8 months
Broccoli, rab, rapini 3-5 days10-12 months
Corn on the cob 1-2 days8 months
Cucumbers 4-5 daysDo not freeze
Potatoes1-2 months1-2 weeksCooked and mashed, 10-12 months
Squash, summer winter1 week2 weeks10-12 months
TomatoesUntil Ripe2-3 days2 months

Refrigerated Food

Refrigerate food to preserve freshness.  However, over time, even chilled food begins to go bad.  The Food Keeper charts indicate refrigerator storage times for a wide variety of food items, calculated from the date of purchase.

Temperature

For more information, go to: http://www.fmi.org/consumer/foodkeeper/