Know : List of Foods’ Storage Periods

 

Food-storage-shelf-items

Proper food storage helps maintain food quality by retaining flavor, color, texture and nutrients, while reducing the chance of contracting a food-borne illness. Foods can be classified into three groups.

  • Perishable foods include meat, poultry, fish, milk, eggs and many raw fruits and vegetables. All cooked foods are considered perishable foods. To store these foods for any length of time, perishable foods need to be held at refrigerator or freezer temperatures. If refrigerated, perishable foods should be used within several days.
  • Semi-perishable foods, if properly stored and handled, may remain unspoiled for six months to about one year. Flour, grain products, dried fruits and dry mixes are considered semi-perishable.
  • Staple, or non-perishable, foods such as sugar, dried beans, spices and canned goods do not spoil unless they are handled carelessly. These foods will lose quality, however, if stored over a long time, even if stored under ideal conditions.

There is no exact method to determine how long a food will maintain quality and be safe to eat, because many conditions affect the quality. The storage life of foods is affected by the:

  • freshness of the food when it reached the grocery store
  • length of time and the temperature at which it was held before purchase
  • temperature of your food storage areas
  • humidity level in your food storage areas
  • type of storage container or packaging the food is stored in
  • characteristics of the food item

 

Storage Periods for Retaining Food Quality
Food Room Temperature Refrigerator Freezer at 0°F
Milk/Milk Products
Milk 1 week 1 month
Butter 2 weeks 12 months
Canned or dry milk (unopened) 6 months
Cottage cheese 1 week 3 months
Cream 1-2 weeks
Ice cream 2-3 weeks
Margarine 1 month 12 months
Natural cheese 1 month 4-6 months
Processed cheese 1 month 4-6 months
Sour cream, buttermilk, cream cheese 2 weeks Not recommended
Yogurt 1 month
Meat
Fresh roasts, steaks, chops 3-4 days 2-3 months
Fresh livers, hearts, kidneys, other variety meats 1-2 days 3-4 months
Fresh ground meat, stew meat 1-2 days 3-4 months
Cured pork and lunch meat 1 week Not recommended
Cooked meat, gravies made with meat stock 2-3 days 2-3 months
Canned meat 1 year
Meat pies, stews, casseroles, meat salads 2-3 days 3 months
Hotdogs 1 week (opened) 2 weeks (unopened) 1-2 months
Bacon 7 days 1 month
Sausage, raw from pork, beef, turkey 1-2 days 1-2 months
Hard sausage-pepperoni, jerky sticks 2-3 weeks 1-2 months
Poultry/Eggs
Fresh poultry 2 days 6-8 months
Cooked poultry 2-3 days 6 months
Poultry stuffing 1 day
Poultry pies, stews, creamed dishes, gravies 1 day 6 months
Poultry salads 1 day
Eggs 2-4 weeks 1 year
Raw yolk, whites 2-4 days 1 year
Hardcooked eggs 1 week Not recommended
Liquid pasteurized eggs or egg substitutes 10 days (unopened) 3 days (opened) 1 year (unopened)
Egg-containing products: custards, custard sauces, puddings, custard-filled pastries or cakes 1-2 days Not recommended
Puddings, canned 1-2 days (opened)
Fish/Seafood
Fresh fish 1-2 days 3-6 months
Cooked fish 3-4 days 1 month
Fish salad 1 day
Smoked fish 10 days 4-5 weeks
Canned fish 1 year Not recommended
Dried or pickled fish 3-4 weeks
Clams, oyster (shucked) and scallops 7-9 days
Crab 7 days 2 months
Shrimp 3-5 days 6-12 months
Lobster (shelled or unshelled) 3-7 days 6-12 months
Wild Game
Venison 3-5 days 3-4 months
Rabbit, squirrel 1-2 days 12 months
Wild duck, pheasant, goose(whole) 1-2 days 6 months
Fruits
Apples Until ripe 1 month
Citrus fruits 2-6 weeks
Grapes 1-3 weeks
Melons, most varieties 1 week
Peaches, nectarines 2-3 weeks
Pears (mature but not fully ripe) 1-3 months
Pineapple, ripe 1 week
Other fresh fruit Until ripe 3-5 days 9-12 months
Canned fruit 1 year 2-4 days (opened)
Dried fruit 6 months 2-4 days (cooked)
Fruit juice concentrates 1 year
Canned fruit juices 1 year 3-4 days (opened)
Vegetables
Asparagus 2-3 days
Broccoli, brussels sprouts, green peas, green onions, lima beans, rhubarb, greens, summer squash, mushrooms 3-5 days
Cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, snap beans, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes 1 week
Carrots, beets, parsnips, radishes, turnips 2 weeks
Corn 1 day
White potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, rutabagas, dry onions 1 week (several months at 50-60°F)
Canned or dried vegetables 1 year 1-4 days (opened/cooked)
Cereal Products
Flour, white 1 year
Flour, whole or wheat 6-8 months 1 year
Rice, white 2 years
Rice, brown 6 months
Ready-to-eat cereals 1 year
Uncooked cereals 1 year
Pasta 1 year
Corn meal 1 year
Bakery Goods
Breads, baked with no preservatives 2-3 weeks 2-3 months
Breads, quick, baked 2 months
Cake, angel 6-12 months
Cake, baked, frosted 1 month
Cake, baked, unfrosted 2-4 months
Cakes, batter 1 month
Cakes, fruit 6-12 months
Cinnamon rolls, partially baked 2 months
Cookies, baked, homemade 2-3 weeks 6-12 months
Cookies, dough 1-2 days 3 months
Cookies, packaged 2 months 12-18 months
Crackers 2 months
Doughnuts, unfrosted 2-4 months
Muffins, baked 6-12 months
Pies, fruit 2-3 days (baked) 1-2 days (unbaked) 6-8 months (baked) 2-4 months (unbaked)
Pies, pumpkin or chiffon 2-3 days 1-2 months
Rolls and bread, unbaked 2-3 weeks 1 month
Waffles 1 month
Mixes/Packaged Foods
Biscuit, brownie, muffin mix 9 months
Cake mixes 6-9 months
Casserole mix 9-12 months
Cookies, homemade 2-3 weeks
Cookies, packaged 2 months
Crackers 3 months
Croutons and bread crumbs 6 months 6 months 1 year
Frosting, canned 3 months
Frosting, mix 8 months
Hot roll mix 18 months
Pancake mix 6-9 months
Piecrust, mix 6-9 months
Potatoes, instant 6-12 months
Rice mixes 6 months
Sauce and gravy mixes 6-12 months
Soup mixes 12 months
Toaster pastries 2-3 months
Other Foods
Baking powder 18 months
Baking soda 2 years
Chocolate syrup 2 years (unopened) 6 months (opened)
Cocoa mixes 8 months
Coffee, lighteners (dry) 9 months (unopened) 6 months (opened)
Cornstarch 18 months
Gelatin 18 months
Pectin 1 year
Salad dressings, bottled 12 months (unopened) 1-3 months (opened) Not recommended
Sugar, brown 18 months
Sugar, confectioners’ 18 months
Sugar, granulated 2 years
Vinegar 2 years (unopened) 1 year (opened)
Cheese, parmesan, grated 10 months (unopened) 2 months (opened)
Coconut, shredded 12 months (unopened) 6 months (opened)
Imitation bacon bits, etc. 4 months
Peas, beans, dried 12 months
Popcorn 2 years
Whipped topping, dry 12 months
Yeast, dry Expiration date on package
Honey, jams, syrups, molasses 1 year
Nuts, unshelled 6 months
Nuts, shelled 6 months
Peanut butter 6 months (unopened) 2 months (opened)
Chocolate 1 year
Coffee 1 year (unopened) 2-4 weeks (opened)
Coffee, instant 6 months (unopened) 2 months (opened)
Pudding mixes 1 year
Shortening, solid 8 months
Vegetable oils 1-3 months
Tea, bags or loose 1 year
Tea, instant 1 year
Soft drinks 3 months
Bouillon products 1 year
Mayonnaise 10-12 weeks Not recommended
Spices, Herbs, Condiments, Extracts
Catsup, chili sauce 12 months (unopened) 1 month (opened)
Mustard, prepared yellow (refrigerate 2 years (unopened) for longer storage) 6-8 months (opened)
Spices, whole 1-2 years
Spices, ground 6 months
Herbs 6 months
Herb/spice blends 2 years (unopened) 12 months (opened)
Other extracts 12 months

Exclusive Cupboard Storage Chart
• Store foods in cool cabinets and away from appliances which produce heat.
• Many staples and canned foods have a relatively long shelf life, but buy only what you can expect to use within the time recommended in the chart. Date food packages and use the oldest first. Foods stored for longer than recommended times or beyond date on the package may change quality, color and flavor.
• Buy fresh-looking packages. Dusty cans or torn labels can indicate old stock. Do not purchase dented or bulging cans.

Cupboard Storage Cupboard Storage2

Courtesy & Credits : UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA–LINCOLN &  North Dakota State University

Excerpts from original articles by


 

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