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