How to Store Food in the Fridge & Freezer

  • Remember to check the thermometer periodically - the inside of the refrigerator should be cold (40° F or lower) and the freezer should be 0°F or lower.
  • Once a week, throw out perishable foods or leftovers that have been in the fridge for more than 3-4 days.
  • Always check the package date for specific storage information about a food - the time periods below are general storage guidelines.
Food In the Refrigerator In the Freezer
Milk 5 to 7 days
Yogurt 7 to 10 days
Cheeses 6 months, unopened
3 to 4 weeks, opened
6 months
Apples 1 to 3 Weeks
Lettuce 5 to 7 days
Frozen Vegetables 8 months
Bacon 2 weeks, unopened
1 week, opened
1 to 2 months
Luncheon Meats 2 weeks, unopened
1 week, opened
1 to 2 months
Ground Beef 1 to 2 days 2 to 3 months
Chops/Roast 3 to 5 days 6 to 12 months
Fresh Poultry 1 to 2 days 6 to 12 months
Frozen Pizza 1 to 2 months, unopened
Dressings 3 months
Mayonnaise 2 months
Ketchup 1 month or longer
Mustard 6 to 8 months
Eggs in the shell 4 to 5 weeks

Giving food the deep freeze keeps it safe to eat almost indefinitely. But if items have been in frozen animation for quite awhile, it might be time to give them the old heave-ho for quality's sake. Not sure how long is too long? Here are some additional tips:

  • Freezer burn dries out food but does not make it unsafe. Exposure to air causes the food's surface to form grayish-brown leathery spots. Minor areas can be cut away before or after cooking. Heavily freezer-burned foods should be discarded for quality reasons.
  • Other colour changes in food can be due to abnormally long storage, freezer burn or lack of oxygen. The bright red colour of meat usually turns dark or pale brown. This is acceptable unless there appears to be extensive freezer burn.
  • Frozen vegetables or cooked foods may turn a dull colour due to excessive drying from improper packaging or lengthy storage. Again, discarding them is a matter of quality, not safety.

Freezing Cooked Foods - Storage Guide

Use this handy guide to see how long the deep freeze can last.

Item Freezing Time
Fruits/Vegetables 1 year
Casseroles
Meat in sauce, pasta, rice dishes 3 months
Meat or poultry stews 6 months
Beans, peas and lentil dishes 6 months
Meats/ Poultry (cooked) 2-3 months
Soups/Sauces/Gravies
Stock based soups 6 months
Cream soup/thickened 4 months
Gravies 2 months
Stuffing 2 months
Dips 2 months
Cheese * (except cream cheese and cottage cheese) 3 months

Tip: For best results freezing cheese, keep in its original packaging and if opened, tightly wrap in heavy aluminum foil or freezer bags with the air squeezed out. Freeze in blocks not greater than 500 g, 3 cm thick as larger pieces tend to crumble when thawed. We do not recommend freezing no-baked cheesecakes unless specified on the recipe.

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