Society

Refrigerator food safety guidelines

Keeping foods stored safely and according to guidelines can help prevent many food borne illnesses.

The refrigerator/freezer is one appliance most people turn to for keeping foods fresh. However, it's important to know that food is not impervious to spoilage even inside of a refrigerator or when frozen.

The United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service offers these guidelines for storing food safely.

Product Refrigerator Freezer
Raw eggs in shell 3 to 5 weeks Do not freeze in shell
Egg, chicken, ham, tuna
and macaroni salads 3 to 5 days Does not freeze well
Opened hot dogs 1 week 1 to 2 months
Opened lunch meat 3 to 5 days 1 to 2 months
Unopened lunch meat 2 weeks 1 to 2 months
Bacon 7 days 1 month
Sausage, raw 1 to 2 days 1 to 2 months
Ground meats 1 to 2 days 1 to 2 months
Steaks, fresh 3 to 5 days 6 to 12 months
Chops, fresh 3 to 5 days 4 to 6 months
Roasts, fresh 3 to 5 days 4 to 12 months
Chicken or turkey, whole 1 to 2 days 1 year
Chicken or turkey, pieces 1 to 2 days 9 months
Vegetable or meat stews
and soups 3 to 4 days 2 to 3 months
Leftover meat/poultry 3 to 4 days 2 to 6 months
Leftover chicken nuggets 3 to 4 days 1 to 3 months
Leftover pizza 3 to 4 days 1 to 2 months


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2009-08-20 digital edition



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