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Refrigerator & Freezer Storage Chart

Consult this chart and follow these tips. These short but safe time limits will help keep refrigerated food held at 40°F or below from spoiling or becoming dangerous.

  • Purchase the product before “sell-by” or expiration dates.
  • Follow handling recommendations on product.
  • Keep meat and poultry in its package until just before using.
  • If freezing meat and poultry in its original package longer than 2 months, overwrap these packages with airtight heavy-duty foil, plastic wrap, or freezer paper, or place the package inside a plastic bag.

Because freezing at 0°F keeps food safe indefinitely, the following recommended storage times are for quality only. The don’t freeze indicates that the quality of the products is not acceptable if frozen.


UD Cooperative Extension

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, Cooperative Extension is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.