Food Storage Chart

Recommended Time for Safe Food Storage

The following food storage chart provides general recommended storage times for the "best if used by" date for various food products stored under optimum conditions. Storage generally is not recommended under conditions where no time is listed in the chart. For maximum shelf-life, never temperature abuse food.

FOOD

Pantry (Room Temperature)

Refrigerator (33°F to 40°F)

Freezer (0°F)

Bread and Cereal Products

Baked quick breads 4-5 days 1-2 weeks 2-3 months
Bread 5-7 days 1-2 weeks 3 months
Bread crumbs and croutons 6 months  
Bread rolls, unbaked   2-3 weeks 1 month
Cereals, ready-to-eat 1 year
2-3 months*
  
Cereals, ready-to-cook 6 months  
Corn meal 1 year 18 months 2 years
Doughnuts 4-5 days   3 months
Flour, cake, all-purpose 1 year  1-2 years
Flour, whole wheat   6-8 months 1-2 years
Pasta 2 years  
Pies and pastries   3 days 4-6 months
Pies and pastries, baked     1-2 months
Pies and pastries, cream filled   2-3 days 3 months
Pizza   3-4 days 1-2 months
Rice, brown 6 months  
Rice, white 1 year 6-7 days+ 6 months+
Tacos, enchiladas, and burritos (frozen)   2 weeks 1 year
Waffles   4-5 days 1 month

Packaged Foods and Mixes

Biscuit, brownie, and muffin mixes 9 months  
Cakes, prepared 2-4 days  2-3 months
Cake mixes 6-9 months  
Casserole mix 9-12 months  
Chili powder 6 months  
Cookies, packaged 2 months   8-12 months
Crackers, pretzels 3 months  
Frosting, canned 3 months  
Frosting, mix 8 months  
Fruit cake   2-3 months 1 year
Hot roll mix 18 months  
Instant breakfast products 6 months  
Pancake and piecrust mix 6 months  
Pancake waffle batter  1-2 days 3 months
Toaster pastries 3 months  
Sauce and gravy mixes 6 months  
Soup mixes 1 year  

Spices, Herbs, Condiments, Extracts

Catsup, chili, and cocktail sauce 1 year
1 month*
 
6 months
 
Herbs 6 months 1-2 years
Herb/spice blends 2 years
1 year *
 1-2 years
Mustard 2 years 6-8 months* 8-12 months
Spices, ground 6 months  1-2 years
Spices, whole 1-2 years   2-3 years
Vanilla extract 2 years
1 year*
  
Other extracts 1 year  

Other Food Staples

Bacon bits 4 months  
Baking powder 18 months  
Baking soda 2 years  
Bouillon products 1 year  
Carbonated soft drinks (12 oz. cans) 6-9 months  
Carbonated soft drinks, diet (12 oz. cans) 3-4 months  
Chocolate, premelted 1 year  
Chocolate syrup 2 years 6 months* 
Chocolate, semisweet 2 years  
Chocolate, unsweetened 18 months  
Cocoa mixes 8 months  
Coconut, shredded 1 year
6 months*
8 months 1 year
Coffee cans 2 years
2 weeks*
2 months 6 months
Coffee, instant 6 months
2 weeks*
  
Coffee, vacuum-packed 1 year ^   
Coffee lighteners (dry) 9 months
6 months*
  1 year
Cornstarch 18 months   2 years
Gelatin 18 months  
Honey, jams, jellies, and syrup 1 year 6-8 months* 
Marshmallows 2-3 months  
Marshmallow cream 3-4 months  
Mayonnaise 2-3 months 12 months
2 months*
 
Molasses 2 years  
Nuts, shelled 4 months 6 months 
Nuts, unshelled 6 months  
Nuts, salted   6-8 months
Nuts, unsalted   9-12 months
Oil, salad 3 months^
2 months*
  
Parmesan grated cheese 10 months
2 months*
  
Pasteurized process cheese spread 3 months 3-4 weeks* 4 months
Peanut butter 6 months
2-3 months*
  
Popcorn 1-2 years 2 years 2-3 years
Pectin 1 year  
Salad dressings, bottled 1 year^ 3 months* 
Soft drinks 3 months  
Artificial sweetener 2 years  
Sugar, brown 4 months  
Sugar, confectioners 18 months  
Sugar, granulated 2 years  
Tea bags 18 months  
Tea, instant 2 years  
Vegetable oils 6 months
1-3 months*
  
Vegetable shortening 3 months 6-9 months 
Vinegar 2 years
1 year*
  
Water, bottled 1-2 years  
Whipped topping (dry) 1 year  
Yeast, dry Pkg. exp. date  

Vegetables

Asparagus   2-3 days 8 months
Beets   2 weeks 
Broccoli  3-5 days 
Brussels sprouts   3-5 days 
Cabbage  1 week 
Carrots  2 weeks 
Cauliflower   1 week 
Celery   1 week 
Corn (husks)   1-2 days 8 months
Cucumbers   1 week 
Eggplant   1 week 
Green beans  1-2 days 8 months
Green peas  3-5 days 8 months
Lettuce  1 week 
Lima beans   3-5 days 8 months
Mushrooms   2 days 
Onions 1 week 3-5 days 
Onion rings (precooked, frozen)    1 year#
Peppers   1 week 
Pickles, canned 1 year 1 month* 
Frozen potatoes  8 month
Sweet potatoes 2-3 weeks  
White potatoes 2-3 months  
Potato chips 1 month  
Radishes   2 weeks 
Rhubarb   3-5 days 
Rutabagas 1 week  
Snap beans   1 week  
Spinach   5-7 days 8 months
Squash, Summer   3-5 days 
Squash, Winter 1 week  
Tomatoes   1 week 
Turnips   2 weeks 
Commercial baby food, jars 1-2 years^ 2-3 days 
Canned vegetables 1 year^ 1-4 days* 
Canned vegetables, pickled 1 year^ 1-2 months* 
Dried vegetables 6 months  
Frozen vegetables    8 months
Vegetable soup  3-4 days 3 months

Fruits

Apples Until ripe 1 month 
Apricots Until ripe 5 days 
Avocados Until ripe 5 days 
Bananas Until ripe 5 days (fully ripe) 
Berries Until ripe 3 days 1 year
Canned fruit 1 year 2-4 days* 
Canned fruit juices 1 year 3-4 days* 
Cherries Until ripe 3 days  
Citrus fruit Until ripe 2 weeks 
Dried fruit 6 months 2-4 days+ 
Frozen fruit   1 year
Fruit juice concentrate   6 days 1 year
Fruit pies, baked   2-3 days 8 months
Grapes Until ripe 5 days 
Melons Until ripe 5 days 
Nectarines Until ripe 5 days 
Peaches Until ripe 5 days 1 year
Pears Until ripe 5 days 1 year
Pineapple Until ripe 5-7 days 1 year
Plums Until ripe 5 days 

Dairy Products

Butter   1-2 months 9 months
Buttermilk   2 weeks 
Cottage cheese   1 week 3 months
Cream cheese   2 weeks 
Cream-light, heavy, half- and-half   3-4 days 1-4 months
Eggnog commercial   3-5 days 6 months
Margarine   4-5 months 12 months
Condensed, evaporated and dry milk 12-23 months^ 8-20 days* 
Milk   8-20 days 
Ice cream and sherbet   2 months
Hard natural cheese (e.g. cheddar, swiss)   3-6 months
4 weeks*
6 months
Hard natural cheese, sliced   2 weeks 
Processed cheese   1 month 6 months
Soft cheese (e.g. brie)   1 week 6 months
Pudding   1-2 days* 
Snack dips   1 week* 
Sour cream   2 weeks 
Non-dairy whipped cream, canned   3 months 
Real whipped cream, canned   3-4 weeks 
Yogurt   2 weeks 1-2 months

Meats, Poultry, Eggs and Fish

Meats

Fresh beef and bison steaks   3-5 days 6-9 months
Fresh beef and bison roasts   3-5 days 9-12 months
Fresh pork chops  2-3 days 4-6 months
Fresh lamb chops   3-5 days 6-8 months
Fresh veal   1-2 days 4-6 months
Fresh ground meat (e.g. beef, bison, veal, lamb)  1 day 3-4 months
Cooked meat   2-3 days 2-3 months
Canned meat 1 year 3-4 days* 3-4 months
Ham, whole   1 week 1-2 months
Ham, canned 1 year 1 week* 3-4 months
Ham, canned "keep refrigerated"   6-9 months
1 week*
 
3-4 months
Shelf-stable unopened canned meat (e.g. chili, deviled ham, corn beef) 1 year 1week* 
Ham, cook before eating   1 week 
Ham, fully cooked   2 weeks
1 week*
 
Ham, dry-cured 1 year 1 month  
Ham salad, store prepared or homemade  3-5 days 
Bacon   2 weeks
1 week*
1 month
Corned beef, uncooked  5-7 days 1-2 months
Restructured (flaked) meat products    9-12 months
Sausage, fresh   1-2 days 1-2 months
Smoked breakfast sausage links, patties  1 week 2 months
Sausage, smoked (e.g. Mettwurst)  1 week 1-2 months
Sausage, semi-dry (e.g. Summer sausage)   2-3 weeks* 6 months
Sausage, dry smoked (e.g. Pepperoni, jerky, dry Salami) 1 year 1 month* 6 months
Frankfurters, bologna   2 weeks
3-5 days*
1-2 months
Luncheon meat   2 weeks
3-5 days*
1 month
Meat gravies  1-2 days 2-3 months
TV beef and pork dinners    18 months#
Meat based casseroles   3-4 days 4 months
Variety meats (giblets, tongue, liver, heart, etc.)   1-2 days 3-4 months
Vinegar pickled meats (e.g. pickled pigs feet) 1 year^ 2 weeks* 

Fish

Breaded fish   4-6 months
Canned fish 1 year 1-2 days* 
Cooked fish or seafood   3-4 days 3 months
Lean fish (e.g. cod, flounder, haddock)   1-2 days 6 months
Fatty fish (e.g. bluefish, salmon, mackeral)  1-2 days 2-3 months
Dry pickled fish  3-4 weeks 
Smoked fish   2 weeks 4-5 weeks
Seafood-clams, crab, lobster in shell   2 days 3 months
Seafood-oysters and scallops   1-2 days 3-4 months
Seafood-shrimp   1-2 days 1 year
Seafood-shucked clams   1-2 days 3-6 months
Tuna salad, store prepared or homemade  3-5 days 

Poultry and Eggs

Chicken nuggets or patties  1-2 days 
Chicken livers   1-2 days 3 months
Chicken and poultry TV dinners    6 months
Canned poultry^ 1 year 1 day* 
Cooked poultry 2-3 days 4-6 months
Fresh poultry   1 day 1 year
Frozen poultry parts   6-9 months
Canned poultry   1 day 3 months
Poultry pies, stews, and gravies  1-2 days 6 months
Poultry salads, store prepared or homemade  3-5 days 
Poultry stuffing, cooked   3-4 days 1 month
Eggs, in shell   3-5 weeks 
Eggs, hard-boiled   1 week 
Eggs, pasteurized  10 days
3 days*
1 year
Egg substitute   10 days
3 days*
1 year
Egg yolks (covered in water)  2-4 days 1 year
Egg whites (For each cup of egg yolk add 1 Tbs. of sugar or salt)   2-4 days 1 year

Wild Game

Frog legs   1 day 6-9 months
Game birds 2 days 9 months
Small game (rabbit, squirrel, etc.)   2 days 9-12 months
Venison ground meat  1-2 days 2-3 months
Venison steaks and roasts   3-5 days 9-12 months

* Opened
+ Cooked
^ Refrigerate after opening
# After manufacture date

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