Your refrigerator can't freeze time.
As much as we'd like to believe that it can cryogenically preserve the taco meat we made last month, no refrigerator can guarantee food immortality.
The hard fact of the matter is that time spares nothing, not even tuna casserole. In order to prevent illness and strange odors, we must endeavor to keep an eye on the food we store. This handy article, based on the U.S. government's food safety guidelines, will help you do just that.
Enjoy this article within 1 to 2 days, then freeze it in your memory or your saved sites.
1. Egg salad, tuna salad, chicken salad... etc.
3 to 5 days.
Because these contain mayonnaise, they don't freeze well. They probably don't thaw well either.
3 to 4 days.
Can be frozen for 1 to 2 months, just in case you order it and then get called away on an Arctic expedition or something.
3. Bacon and raw sausage.
Bacon: 7 days.
Uncooked sausage: 1 to 2 days.
You can freeze bacon for a month; sausage up to two months.
4. Hamburger/ground meats.
Raw: 1 to 2 days or freeze up to 3 to 4 months.
Cooked: 3 to 4 days or 2 to 6 months.
We had no idea that it had to be cooked or frozen that quickly.
5. Fresh chicken/poultry.
Whole: 1 to 2 days or freeze for up to one year.
Pieces: 1 to 2 days or freeze up to 9 months.
This is for uncooked poultry, mind you.
6. Fresh beef, pork, veal, lamb.
Steaks: 3 to 5 days or freeze 6 to 12 months.
Chops: 3 to 5 days or freeze for 4 to 6 months.
Roasts: 3 to 5 days or freeze for 4 to 12 months.
Watch for freezer burn.
7. Hot dogs.
Opened package: 1 week or freeze for 1 to 2 months.
Unopened package: 2 weeks or freeze for 1 to 2 months.
8. Cold cuts.
Opened package or from the deli/butcher: 3 to 5 days or freeze for 1 to 2 months.
Unopened package (pre-cut and sealed): 2 weeks or freeze for 1 to 2 months.
With meat/vegetable added: 3 to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
It varies wildly. In general, 1 to 2 days in the fridge. For specifics on freezing, you'd better go here.
Drink when cold. Do not freeze.
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