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"De gustibus non est disputandum"
(there is no disputing about tastes)
Michael Thorne Executive Chef, AtomicGourmet.com
Atomic Gourmet
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Food Storage Chart

Fresh Meat Storage
Processed Meat Storage
Cooked Meat Storage
Fresh Poultry Storage
Cooked Poultry Storage
Fish and Shellfish Storage
Vegetable Storage
Fruit Storage
Canned and Bottled Food Storage
Dairy and Egg Products Storage
Baked Goods Storage
Dry and Canned Goods Storage
Here you will find a complete guide for safe and proper food storage. Please note, commercially made food items such as mayonnaise will last longer than home made or fresh mayonnaise. For home or self made mayonnaises, refrigerate immediately and don't keep it in the fridge for more than a day or two.
Fresh Meat Storage ^top
Food Item Refrigerator Storage Freezer Storage
Roasts, Beef & Pork 3 to 5 days 6 to 12 months
Steaks, Beef 3 to 5 days 6 to 12 months
Chops, Pork & Lamb 3 to 5 days 4 to 8 months
Ground & Stew Meat 1 to 2 days 3 to 4 months
Sausage, Pork 1 to 2 days 1 to 2 months
Variety Meats and Offal 1 to 2 days 3 to 4 months
Processed Meat Storage ^top
Food Item Refrigerator Storage Freezer Storage
Ham, Whole 7 days 1 to 2 months
Ham, Half or Slices 3 to 5 days 1 to 2 months
Bacon 7 days 1 to 2 months
Frankfurters-Opened 7 days 1 to 2 months
Deli Meats 3 to 5 days 1 to 2 months
Sausage, Smoked 7 days 1 to 2 months
Sausage, Semi-dry & Dry 2 to 3 weeks 1 to 2 months
Cured Meats 3 weeks 1 to 2 months
Cooked Meat Storage ^top
Food Item Refrigerator Storage Freezer Storage
Casseroles, Meat with Sauce 3 to 4 days 2 to 3 months
Soups & Stews 3 to 4 days 2 to 3 months
Stocks 5 to 7 days 2 to 3 months
Fresh Poultry Storage ^top
Food Item Refrigerator Storage Freezer Storage
Chicken & Turkey, Whole 1 to 2 days 1 year
Chicken & Turkey, Pieces 1 to 2 days 9 months
Giblets 1 to 2 days 3 to 4 months
Duck & Goose 1 to 2 days 6 months
Cooked Poultry Storage ^top
Food Item Refrigerator Storage Freezer Storage
Casseroles, Meat with sauce 3 to 4 days 3 to 6 months
Pieces, Grilled 3 to 4 days 2 to 4 months
Fried Chicken 3 to 4 days 3 to 4 months
Fish and Shellfish Storage ^top
Food Item Refrigerator Storage Freezer Storage
Steaks, fillets, & Shucked Seafood 1 to 2 days 3 to 4 months
Seafood in the Shell 1 to 2 days 3 to 6 months
Cooked Fish 3 to 4 days 4 to 6 months
Smoked Fish 2 weeks 2 months
Vegetable Storage ^top
(Storage times are refrigerated times unless otherwise indicated).
Food Item Preparation Method Refrigerator Storage
Commercially Frozen Store in original package 1 year - In Freezer
Canned Vegetables (Opened) Store in airtight container. Do not store in the opened can. 3 days
Artichokes Sprinkle with a little water and lemon juice, place in an airtight plastic container. 1 week
Asparagus Blanch and immediately shock in ice bath. Remove as soon as cool 3 to 5 days
Beets Leave roots and trim stems to 1 to 2 inches in length. Keep in covered container. Check weekly. 4 to 8 weeks
Broccoli Store in a perforated plastic bag. 5 to 7 days
Brussel Sprouts Trim damaged leaves and store in a perforated container. 2 to 3 weeks
Cabbage Remove any loose leaves from the outer surface and place the cabbage head in a plastic bag. 4 to 8 weeks
Carrots Keep in perforated plastic bag. 1 to 3 months
Cauliflower Do not wash. Keep in perforated plastic bag. 10 to 14 days
Celery Keep in original case until needed 3 to 4 weeks
Corn, Sweet Store with husks on 3 days
Cucumber Keep in original packaging. 10 to 12 days
Endive Wash leaves thoroughly, shake to remove excess moisture, and gather leaves together and tie. Place tied head in a plastic bag. Disgard outer leaves as they wilt but inner leaves will still be good and crisp. 2 to 3 weeks
Fennel Store in a plastic bag. 6 or 7 days
Kale Remove as much moisture as possible by blotting with a paper towel. Store in a loosely sealed or perforated plastic bag. 7 to 10 days
Kohlrabi Trim roots and stems and place in a loosely sealed or perforated plastic bag. 2 to3 weeks
Leeks Remove excess moisture by blotting with a paper towel. Place in a plastic bag or wrap with plastic. 1 to 2 weeks
Lettuce, head Do not wash before using. Remove the core and outside damaged leaves. Cut to spec. Wash and spin in salad spinner. Store in sealed container 10 to 12 days
Lettuce, leaf Wash leaves and dry in a salad spinner or by shaking off excess water. Layer leaves between paper towels and place in a plastic bag. 10 to 12 days
Mushrooms Keep in original package 2 to 3 days
Okra Store in a plastic bag and place in the warmest area of the cooler. 5 to 7 days
Onions Be sure onions are dry and then store in a mesh bag or a basket. Storage area must have good air circulation. 1 to 3 months
(refrigerate or cool, dry area)
Parsnips Be sure leaves have been trimmed and store parsnips in a perforated plastic bag. 1 to 2 months
Peas Store unshelled peas in a perforated plastic bag. Shelled peas can be stored in a regular plastic bag. 5 to 6 days
Peppers Keep in original package. 1 to 2 weeks
Potatoes, Sweet Place in a well ventilated box or basket and store in a cool (55° to 60° F), moist area with good ventilation. Do not refrigerate. 2 to 4 months
(do not refrigerate)
Potatoes, White Place in a well ventilated box or basket and store in a dark, cool (around 40°F works best), moist area with good ventilation. Do not refrigerate and do not store in plastic bags. 2 to 4 months
(do not refrigerate)
Radishes Store in original packaging 2 to 3 weeks
Spinach Store in original packaging 2 to 3 days
Squash, Summer Store in a perforated plastic bag. Do not wash until ready to use. 1 week
Squash, Winter Store, whole, in a cool, dry place. Do not wash until ready to use. If cut, store wrapped in plastic and refrigerate for up to 1 week. If whole squash is properly cured in the sun (at 70° to 80° F) for 10 days, it will extend storage time. 2 to 3 months
(do not refrigerate)
Swiss Chard Store in original packaging 2 to 4 days
Tomatoes, Ripe Store with stems down at room temperature. 5 to 7 days
(do not refrigerate)
Tomatoes, Green Wrap individually in newspaper and store with stems down at room temperature. Can also be placed in a deep box in 1 or 2 layers, unwrapped. Allow for adaquate air circulation. Avoid exposure to temperatures below 50° F. Check weekly for ripeness. 2 to 5 weeks
(do not refrigerate)
Turnips Leave unwashed and trim leaves off. Store in a perforated bag. 1 to 3 weeks
Fruit Storage ^top
(Storage times are refrigerated times unless otherwise indicated).
Food Item Preparation Method Refrigerator Storage
Commercially Frozen (Unopened) Store in original package. 1 year - In Freezer
Canned Fruits (Opened) Store in airtight container. Do not store in the opened can. 3 days
Apples For best results, Store in original packaging and store in the coldest area of the refrigerator. Keep apples away from other fruits and vegetables because they give off a gas called ethylene that speeds up ripening. 1 to 2 months
Avocados Store unripened avocados at room temperature. When the fruit feels slightly soft, it is ripe. Ripe avocados can then be stored in the cooler. 2 to3 days
(after ripened)
Bananas It is best to store bananas at room temperature. They can be refrigerated without damaging the fruit but refrigeration will turn the skins black. 2 to3 days
(after ripened)
Berries . Store in original packaging Wash gently just before using. 2 to 3 days
Cranberries Place in an airtight bag or keep in their original package. Clean just before use. 3 to 4 weeks
Grapefruit Can be stored at room temperature but will stay fresh longer if stored in the refrigerator. 2 to 3 weeks
Grapes Store in original packaging 1 to 2 weeks
Kiwi Fruit Store in original packaging in the cooler 6 to 8 days
Lemons Can be stored at room temperature but will stay fresh longer if stored uncovered in the cooler. Keep fruit from touching each other for extended shelf life. 2 to 5 weeks
Limes Store in original packaging 1 to 3 weeks
Melons Store in original packaging 6 to 8 days
Oranges Can be stored at room temperature but will stay fresh longer if stored in the cooler 2 to 3 weeks
Peaches Ripen at room temperature. To speed ripening, place in a loosely closed paper bag. They are ripe when they yield to slight pressure and have a sweet smell. Refrigerate when ripe. 2 to 3 days
Pears Ripen at room temperature and then store in coldest part of the refrigerator. 10 to 14 days
Pineapple Store at room temperature for 1 to 2 days and then refrigerate. 3 to 5 days
Plums Store in original packaging 2 to 3 days
Rhubarb Cut leaves from stalks and store in a plastic bag or wrapped in plastic. 1 to 2 weeks
Tangerines Store in original packaging 1 week
Watermelon Uncut watermelon can be stored at room temperature for a few days but cut sections should be wrapped with plastic wrap and refrigerated as soon as possible. 6 to 8 days
Canned and Bottled Food Storage ^top
(The storage times below are the length of time the foods should be stored after they have been opened).
Food Item Refrigerator Storage Freezer Storage
Fish or Seafood
(such as tuna and salmon)
2 to 3 days Do Not Freeze
Meats 2 days Do Not Freeze
Mayonnaise
(prepared commercially)
2 months Do Not Freeze
Salad Dressings
(prepared commercially)
3 months Do Not Freeze
Ketchup, Mustard, Pickles, & Relishes 4 to 6 months Do Not Freeze
Dairy and Egg Products Storage ^top
Food Item Refrigerator Storage Freezer Storage
Butter & Margarine 2 to 3 months 6 to 8 months
Cheese, Fresh 1 to 2 days Do Not Freeze
Cheese, Soft 3 to 4 days 1 month
Cheese, Hard or Semi-hard 2 to 3 weeks 3 to 6 months
Cheese Spread & Dips 1 to 2 weeks 1 month
Milk & Cream 1 week 3 weeks
Ice Cream Do not Refrigerate 1 to 2 months
Whipped Topping (Non-Dairy) 10 to 14 days 1 year
Yogurt 1 week 5 to 6 weeks
Eggs in the Shell 4 to 5 weeks Do Not Freeze
Eggs, Raw Whites 2 to 4 days 6 to 9 months
Eggs, Raw Yolks 2 to 4 days 3 to 6 months
Eggs, Hard Boiled 1 week Do Not Freeze
Baked Goods Storage ^top
Food Item Refrigerator Storage Freezer Storage
Bread 1 week 3 months
Cakes, with Cream Filled, Whipped Topping, or Cream Cheese Frosting 4 to 5 days 3 months
Pies, Custard 2 to 3 days Do Not Freeze
Pies, Fruit 3 to 4 days 6 to 8 months
Cookie Dough 4 to 5 days 2 to 3 months
Cookies, Baked 1 week
(Room Temperature)
3 months
Cookies, Containing Cream Cheese or Cream Frosting 3 to 5 days 3 months
Dry and Canned Goods Storage ^top
Food Item Shelf Storage
Baking Powder 18 months - unopened
6 months - opened
Baking Soda 2 years - unopened
6 months - opened
Biscuit Mix 12 to 18 months
Bread 3 to 5 days
Bread Crumbs 6 months
Brownie Mix 1 year
Cake Mixes 1 year
Candy (Commercially Made) 1 year
Canned Fruit and Vegetables 1 year
Cereal 6 to 12 months - unopened
2 to 3 months - opened
Chili Powder 2 years
Chocolate, Semi-sweet 1 to 2 years
Chocolate, Syrup 2 years
Refrigerate after opening
Chocolate, Unsweetened 18 months
Cocoa Indefinitely - unopened
1 year - opened
Coconut 1 year - unopened
Coffee, Ground 2 years - unopened
2 weeks - opened
Coffee, Instant 1 year - unopened
2 weeks - opened
Coffee Creamer, Powder 6 months
Cornmeal 1 year
Cornstarch 18 months
Crackers 6 months
Extracts 6 months
Fish, Canned 12 to 18 months
Flour 6 to 8 months
Formula (Infant) 12 to 18 months - unopened
2 weeks - opened
Gelatin / Pudding 12 to 18 months
Herbs & Spices 6 to 12 months
Honey 1 year
Jams, Jellies, Preserves 1 Year - unopened
6 months - opened (refrigerated)
Juice, Canned-Citrus 6 months
Juice, Canned-Noncitrus 1 year
Marshmallow Creme 4 months
Marshmallows 3 months
Mayonnaise, commercial 4 months - unopened, on shelf
2 months - opened, refrigerated
Meats & Poultry, Canned 12 to 18 months
Milk, Canned 1 year
Milk, Nonfat Dry 6 months
Molasses 1 year - unopened
6 months - opened
Nuts 8 months
Olives 1 year
Pancake Mixes 6 months
Paprika 8 months
Pasta / Noodles, Dried 2 years
Peanut Butter 6 to 9 months
Peppers, Canned or Pickled 1 year
Pickles 1 year
Popcorn, Unpopped 1 to 2 years
Potatoes, Instant 18 months
Rice, White 2 years
Salad Dressing 10 months - unopened
3 months - opened, refrigerated
Salt Store Indefinitely
Sauces, Condiments, Relishes 1 year - unopened
Shortening 8 months - unopened
6 months - opened
Sodas 3 months - unopened
Stuffing Mix 6 months
Sugar, Brown 4 months
Sugar, Confectioners 18 months
Sugar, Granulated 2 years
Sugar, Substitutes 2 to 3 years
Syrups 1 year
Tea, Bags 18 months
Tea, Instant 3 years
Tea, Loose 2 years
Tomato Sauce or Paste 12 to 18 months
Vinegar
(Do not store in a metal container. Store in its original container or in a glass container.)
Store Indefinitely

 




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