Organizing Ideas

Best-before food chart

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Organizing Ideas

Best-before food chart


In the refrigerator
Food
Refrigerator (4 C)
Freezer (-18 C)
Eggs, fresh in shell
3-5 weeks
Don't freeze
Eggs, hard cooked
1 week
Don't freeze
Mayonnaise, commercial, opened
2 months
Don't freeze
Prepared egg, chicken, tuna or macaroni salad
3-5 days
Don't freeze
Ground beef, turkey, veal, pork, lamb
1-2 days
3-4 months
Deli meats (unopened package)
2 weeks
1-2 months
Deli meats (opened package)
3-5 days
1-2 months
Bacon
7 days
1 month
Chicken or turkey, whole
1-2 days
1 year
Chicken or turkey, pieces
1-2 days
9 months
Steaks
3-5 days
6-12 months
Roasts
3-5 days
4-12 months
Fish, shellfish and other seafood
1-2 days
4-6 months
Cooked meat and meat casserole leftovers
3-4 days
2-3 months
Fruit juice in carton
3 weeks unopened; 7-10 days opened
8-12 months
Butter
1-3 months
6-9 months
Cheese (hard, like cheddar)
6 months unopened; 3-4 weeks opened
6 months
Cheese (soft, like brie)
1 week
6 months
Cream cheese
2 weeks
Don't freeze
Margarine
4-5 months
12 months
Milk
7 days
3 months
Yogurt
7-14 days
1-2 months

 

In the pantry (at room temperature)

Canned goods
12 months
Cereal grains
8 months
Dry beans
24 months
Flour
12 months
Baking powder
6 months unopened; 3 months opened
Baking soda
18 months unopened; 6 months opened
Pasta/rice
2 years unopened; 1 year opened
(egg noodles are an exception and should be used 1 month after opening)
Sugar
Indefinitely
Vegetable oils
6 months unopened; 4-6 months opened

For more information, visit the following websites:
Ontario Ministry of Health -- Safe Food Handling
BC Centre for Disease Control -- Food Programs
USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service -- Cold Storage Chart

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Best-before food chart