We all have an "idea" of how long to store food in the refrigerator or freezer! I thought that it would be helpful to do some research on the appropriate way to store items and how long they can be safely stored!
Here are some highlights!
Hamburger Meat, Roasts etc 4-12 months
Pork 4-6 months
Poultry 9-12 moths
Seafood 2-6 months depending on type
Bacon/Sausage 1-2 months
Frozen Dinners/Meals 3-4 months
Lunch Meats/Hot Dogs 1-2 months
Pizza 1-2 months
Beverages (Fruit in cartons) 8-12 months
Milk 3 months
Butter 6-9 months
Note: Each item has a different storage method based on raw and cooked, so please check the links below for the complete list! There are different methods for each type, frozen/cooked/in gravy's etc.
Here are the links to the resources that I received my information from!
These two links are from the USDA!
The first link is a chart of items and their refrigeration/freezing times
The second is a very detailed Q&A page plus a smaller chart! This one is great for bacteria questions etc!
- ALWAYS keep a detailed list of items in your freezer/freezers. There's nothing worse than throwing out freezer burned items because you forgot that they were in there! This defeats the purpose of stockpiling all together!
- Always reinforce your meats packaging. If you place an item in the freezer in its original packaging...expect a higher chance of freezer burn!
- I place bulk items such as meats in 3 servings per package. This allows me to cook just enough for us to eat. Sometime I place a higher serving amount for things such as soups and chili's. For me, this method cuts back on wasted food!
- I also place individual servings of food in freezer bags (for quick snacks or lunches). This again saves on thawing time and cuts back on wasted food!
- DO NOT purchase and freeze too much of one particular item that won't last more than 1 month in the freezer. Again, you will end up throwing it out! (Tell that to my waffles turned snowballs from a couple of month's ago!)