reviewed 11/19/2019

Cold storage safety

Find out how long you can safely store foods in the refrigerator and freezer

Eggs:

In the refrigerator, fresh eggs, still in the shell, can be stored for 3 to 5 weeks. Raw yolks and whites can be stored for 2 to 4 days. Hard-cooked eggs can be stored for 1 week.

In the freezer, fresh eggs, still in the shell can be stored for 3 to 5 weeks. Raw yolks and whites can be stored for 2 to 4 days. Do not freeze hard-cooked eggs.

Milk:

In the refrigerator, milk can be stored for 1 week.

In the freezer, milk can be stored for 3 months.

Mayonnaise: Commercial

In the refrigerator, mayonnaise can be stored for 2 months.

Do not freeze mayonnaise.

Yogurt:

In the refrigerator, yogurt can be stored for 1 to 2 weeks.

In the freezer, yogurt can be stored for 1 to 2 months.

Margarine:

In the refrigerator, margarine can be stored for 6 months.

In the freezer, margarine can be stored for 12 months.

Butter:

In the refrigerator, butter can be stored for 1 to 2 months.

In the freezer, butter can be stored for 6 to 9 months.

Soups and stews:

In the refrigerator, soups and stews can be stored for 3 to 4 days.

In the freezer, soups and stews can be stored for 2 to 3 months.

Ground meats: Ground beef, turkey and lamb

In the refrigerator, ground meats can be stored for 1 to 2 days.

In the freezer, ground meats can be stored for 3 to 4 months.

Meat leftovers: cooked meats and meat casseroles

In the refrigerator, meat leftovers can be stored for 3 to 4 days.

In the freezer, meat leftovers can be stored for 2 to 3 months.

Fresh meats: Beef, veal or lamb

In the refrigerator, steaks can be stored for 3 to 5 days. Chops can be stored for 3 to 5 days. Roasts can be stored for 3 to 5 days.

In the freezer, steaks can be stored for 6 to 12 months. Chops can be stored for 4 to 6 months. Roasts can be stored for 4 to 12 months.

Lunch meats:

In the refrigerator, opened packages can be stored for 3 to 5 days. Unopened packages can be stored for 3 weeks.

In the freezer, opened packages can be stored for 1 to 2 months. Unopened packages can be stored for 1 to 2 months.

Poultry:

In the refrigerator, fresh, whole poultry can be stored 1 to 2 days. Fresh pieces of poultry can be stored for 1 to 2 days. Cooked poultry can be stored 3 to 4 days.

In the freezer, fresh, whole poultry can be stored 12 months. Fresh pieces of poultry can be stored 9 months. Cooked poultry can be stored 4 to 6 months.

Fish: Fatty (like salmon) or lean (like cod)

In the refrigerator, fresh, lean fish can be stored 1 to 2 days. Fresh, fatty fish can be stored 1 to 2 days. Cooked fish can be stored 3 to 4 days.

In the freezer, fresh, lean fish can be stored 6 months. Fresh, fatty fish can be stored 2 to 3 months. Cooked fish can be stored 4 to 6 months.

Fuentes: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

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Disclaimer

This information is provided for educational purposes only. Individuals should always consult with their healthcare providers regarding medical care or treatment, as recommendations, services or resources are not a substitute for the advice or recommendation of an individual's physician or healthcare provider. Services or treatment options may not be covered under an individual's particular health plan.