Refrigerator and Freezer Storage Chart:
Cold Storage Temperatures

Minnesota Department of Health Consumer Fact Sheet
Revised April, 2007
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Cold Storage Temperatures (PDF: 26KB/1 page)

Cold Storage Chart

This chart gives short, conservative storage times to protect you from food spoilage (what you risk in long refrigeration) and from taste loss (what happens when food is left too long in the freezer).

Product

Refrigerator
(Days at 40°F)
Freezer
(Months at 0°F)
Eggs    
  liquid pasteurized eggs (unopened) 3 to 10 12
  fresh in shell 21 don’t freeze
  raw yolk and whites 2 to 4 12
  hard cooked 7 don’t freeze
Fresh meats    
  beef 3 to 5 6 to 12
  lamb 3 to 5 6 to 9
  pork 3 to 5 4 to 8
  veal 3 to 5 4 to 8
  hamburger 1 to 2 3 to 4
  sausage 1 to 2 1 to 2
Cooked meats    
  meat dishes 3 to 4 2 to 3
  gravy, broth 1 to 2 2 to 3
Processed meat    
  bacon 7 1
  franks 7 1 to 2
  ham 3 to 5 1 to 2
  lunch meat 3 to 5 1 to 2
Fresh poultry (all) 1 to 2 6 to 9
Cooked poultry    
  in broth 1 to 2 6
  pieces 3 to 4 1
  hotdish 3 to 4 4 to 6
  fried chicken 3 to 4 4
Game    
  deer 3 to 5 6 to 12
  rabbit 1 to 2 12
  duck, goose 1 to 2 6
Mayonnaise 60 don’t freeze
TV dinners   6
Deli salad (egg, tuna, macaroni) 3 to 5 don’t freeze

Soups, stews

3 to 5 2 to 3

More on Freezing and Food Safety

  • Freezing and Food Safety
    More information and cold storage from the USDA. Attention: Non-MDH link


  • Refrigerator & Freezer Storage Chart (PDF:24KB/1 page)
    Since product dates aren’t a guide for safe use of a product, consult this chart and follow these tips. These short but safe time limits will help keep refrigerated food from spoiling or becoming dangerous. USFDA. Attention: Non-MDH link

 

Updated Monday, 24-Feb-2014 12:43:00 CST