Cold Food Storage Chart: How To Store Food in Refrigerator Correctly, According To CDC

Cold Food Storage Chart

Follow the guidelines below for storing food in the refrigerator and freezer. The short time limits for home-refrigerated foods will help keep them from spoiling or becoming dangerous to eat.

The guidelines for freezer storage are for quality only—frozen foods stored continuously at 0 °F or below can be kept indefinitely.

Download Table as PDF

Food Type Refrigerator
(40 °F or below)
Freezer
(0 °F or below)
Salad Egg, chicken, ham, tuna, and macaroni salads 3 to 4 days Does not freeze well
Hot dogs Opened package 1 week 1 to 2 months
Unopened package 2 weeks 1 to 2 months
Luncheon meat Opened package or deli sliced 3 to 5 days 1 to 2 months
Unopened package 2 weeks 1 to 2 months
Bacon and sausage Bacon 1 week 1 month
Sausage, raw, from chicken, turkey, pork, or beef 1 to 2 days 1 to 2 months
Sausage, fully cooked, from chicken, turkey, pork, or beef 1 week 1 to 2 months
Sausage, purchased frozen After cooking, 3-4 days 1-2 months from date of purchase
Hamburger, ground meats and ground poultry Hamburger, ground beef, turkey, chicken, other poultry, veal, pork, lamb, and mixtures of them 1 to 2 days 3 to 4 months
Fresh beef, veal, lamb, and pork Steaks 3 to 5 days 4 to 12 months
Chops 3 to 5 days 4 to 12 months
Roasts 3 to 5 days 4 to 12 months
Ham Fresh, uncured, uncooked 3 to 5 days 6 months
Fresh, uncured, cooked 3 to 4 days 3 to 4 months
Cured, cook-before-eating, uncooked 5 to 7 days or “use by” date 3 to 4 months
Fully-cooked, vacuum-sealed at plant, unopened 2 weeks or “use by” date 1 to 2 months
Cooked, store-wrapped, whole 1 week 1 to 2 months
Cooked, store-wrapped, slices, half, or spiral cut 3 to 5 days 1 to 2 months
Country ham, cooked 1 week 1 month
Canned, labeled “Keep Refrigerated,” unopened 6 to 9 months Do not freeze
Canned, shelf-stable, opened

Note: An unopened, shelf-stable, canned ham can be stored at room temperature for 2 years.

3 to 4 days 1 to 2 months
Prosciutto, Parma or Serrano ham, dry Italian or Spanish type, cut 2 to 3 months 1 month
Fresh poultry Chicken or turkey, whole 1 to 2 days 1 year
Chicken or turkey, pieces 1 to 2 days 9 months
Fin Fish Fatty Fish (bluefish, catfish, mackerel, mullet, salmon, tuna, etc.) 1 – 3 Days 2 – 3 Months
Lean Fish (cod, flounder, haddock, halibut, sole, etc.) 6 – 8 Months
Lean Fish (pollock, ocean perch, rockfish, sea trout.) 4 – 8 Months
Shellfish Fresh Crab Meat 2 – 4 Days 2 – 4 Months
Fresh Lobster 2 – 4 Days 2 – 4 Months
Live Crab, Lobster 1 day . Not recommended
Live Clams, Mussels, Oysters, and Scallops 5 – 10 Days Not recommended
Shrimp, Crayfish 3 – 5 Days 6 – 18 Months
Shucked Clams, Mussels, Oysters, and Scallops 3 – 10 Days 3 – 4 Months
Squid 1 – 3 Days 6 – 18 Months
Eggs Raw eggs in shell 3 to 5 weeks Do not freeze in shell. Beat yolks and whites together, then freeze.
Raw egg whites and yolks

Note: Yolks do not freeze well

2 to 4 days 12 months
Raw egg accidentally frozen in shell

Note: Toss any frozen eggs with a broken shell

Use immediately after thawing Keep frozen, then
refrigerate to thaw
Hard-cooked eggs 1 week Do not freeze
Egg substitutes, liquid, unopened 1 week Do not freeze
Egg substitutes, liquid, opened 3 days Do not freeze
Egg substitutes, frozen, unopened After thawing, 1 week or refer to “use by” date 12 months
Egg substitutes, frozen, opened After thawing, 3 to 4 days or refer to “use by” date Do not freeze
Casseroles with eggs After baking, 3 to 4 days After baking, 2 to 3 months
Eggnog, commercial 3 to 5 days 6 months
Eggnog, homemade 2 to 4 days Do not freeze
Pies: Pumpkin or pecan After baking, 3 to 4 days After baking, 1 to 2 months
Pies: Custard and chiffon After baking, 3 to 4 days Do not freeze
Quiche with filling After baking, 3 to 5 days After baking, 2 to 3 months
Soups and stews Vegetable or meat added 3 to 4 days 2 to 3 months
Leftovers Cooked meat or poultry 3 to 4 days 2 to 6 months
Chicken nuggets or patties 3 to 4 days 1 to 3 months
Pizza 3 to 4 days 1 to 2 months

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