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Food Safety for Home Cooks

Shelf Life of Food in Fridge

How long can different types of food stay safe in the fridge? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. Food may look fine or pass the "smell test" when it’s really spoiled. Here are general shelf life guidelines. But when in doubt, throw it out.

Dairy

  • This photo shows a glass of milk.Milk, 7 days
  • Butter, 1-3 months
  • Cream, 4 days
  • Cheese (hard), 6 months unopened or 3 weeks opened
  • Cheese (soft), 1 week
  • Cream cheese, 2 weeks
  • Cottage cheese, 1 week
  • Sour cream, 14-21 days
  • Yogurt, 7-14 days

Eggs

  • Fresh, 5 weeks
  • Hardboiled, 1 week
  • Liquid egg substitute, 10 days unopened or 3 days opened

Meat

  • Hamburger (ground), 2 days
  • Turkey (ground), 2 days
  • Ham (slices), 4 days
  • Hot dogs, 2 weeks unopened or 1 week opened
  • Lunch meat, 2 weeks unopened or 3-5 days opened
  • Bacon, 1 week
  • Sausage (fresh), 2 days
  • Sausage (breakfast links or patties), 1 week
  • Roasts, 3-5 days
  • Steak, 3-5 days
  • Chops, 3-5 days
  • Chicken (whole or parts), 2 days
  • This photo shows raw shrimp.Fried chicken, 3-4 days
  • Chicken nuggets, 2 days
  • Fish (fresh), 1-2 days
  • Fish (cooked), 4 days
  • Fish (smoked), 2 weeks
  • Fresh shrimp and shellfish, 1-2 days
  • Cooked shellfish, 3-4 days

Drinks

  • Juice (carton), 3 weeks unopened or 7-10 days opened
  • Coffee (canned ground), 1 month
  • Soft drinks, 3 months from "best by" date
  • Wine, 1 week corked
  • Beer, 6 weeks

Condiments

  • Mayonnaise, 3 months
  • Mustard, 6-8 months
  • Ketchup, 5 months
  • Honey mustard, 2 months
  • Tartar sauce, 3 months
  • Olive oil, 6 months
  • Tahini, 1 month
  • Hummus, 1 week
  • Pickles, 6 months
  • Horseradish, 6-8 months
  • Chocolate syrup, 6-8 months
  • Peanut butter, 4 months
  • Jelly, 4-5 months
  • Salad dressing, 2 months
  • Honey, 8 months
  • Relish, 6 months