Here’s How Long Your Food Actually Lasts in the Fridge

From meat to produce to condiments, here's how long staple foods will really last in the refrigerator.

Where would we be without a spacious refrigerator? Well, we’d be making a lot more trips to the grocery store, for starters. Whether you’re stocking up on grocery staples or want to scarf down some leftovers, a great fridge is truly a gift that keeps on giving. But just because you placed all your produce, condiments and sweet treats in the refrigerator doesn’t mean they’ll last forever.

While most of your groceries do have an expiration date, there’s a difference between the “Sell By” date and when you should actually throw it away. Oh, and did we mention some foods are totally safe to eat after that expiration date?

Here’s How Long Food Lasts in the Fridge

Here's How Long Your Food Actually Lasts in the Fridge 2Sydney Watson/Taste of Home

Eggs, Meat & Fish

  • Bacon, Uncooked: 7 days
  • Beef Roast, Steaks or Ribs, Uncooked: 3 to 5 days
  • Chicken, Cooked (including rotisserie): 3 to 4 days
  • Chicken, Uncooked: 1 to 2 days
  • Eggs, Hard Boiled: 1 week
  • Eggs, Raw: 3 to 5 weeks
  • Egg Salad: 3 to 5 days
  • Fish, Cooked: 3 to 4 days
  • Fish, Uncooked: 1 to 2 days
  • Ground Beef, Cooked: 3 to 4 days
  • Ground Beef, Uncooked: 1 to 2 days
  • Hot Dogs, Opened: 1 week
  • Hot Dogs, Unopened: 2 weeks
  • Lunch Meat, Opened: 3 to 5 days
  • Lunch Meat, Unopened: 2 weeks
  • Pork Roast, Chops or Ribs, Uncooked: 3 to 5 days
  • Sausage, Uncooked: 1 to 2 days
  • Shrimp, Cooked: 3 to 4 days
  • Shrimp, Uncooked: 1 to 2 days

Produce & Plant-Based Items

  • Apples: 3 weeks
  • Apricots: 2 to 3 days
  • Avocados: 3 to 4 days
  • Asparagus: 3 to 4 days
  • Beets: 7 to 10 days
  • Bell Peppers: 4 to 5 days
  • Berries: 4 to 5 days
  • Broccoli: 3 to 5 days
  • Brussels Sprouts: 3 to 5 days
  • Cabbage: 1 to 2 weeks
  • Carrots: 3 weeks
  • Cauliflower: 3 to 5 days
  • Celery: 1 to 2 weeks
  • Cilantro: 7 days
  • Corn: 1 to 2 days
  • Cucumbers: 4 to 5 days
  • Eggplant: 3 to 4 days
  • Garlic: 1 to 2 weeks
  • Gingerroot: 1 to 2 weeks
  • Grapes: 1 week
  • Green Beans: 3 to 4 days
  • Green Onions: 1 to 2 weeks
  • Lettuce: 3 to 4 days
  • Melons: 3 to 4 days
  • Mushrooms: 2 to 3 days
  • Okra: 2 to 3 days
  • Onion: 2 months
  • Orange Juice, Opened: 7 to 10 days
  • Parsley: 7 days
  • Peaches: 3 to 4 days
  • Radishes: 10 to 14 days
  • Rutabagas: 2 weeks
  • Spinach: 1 to 2 days
  • Tofu: 1 week
  • Tomatoes: 2 to 3 days
  • Turnips: 2 weeks
  • Zucchini: 4 to 5 days

Dairy

  • Butter: 1 to 3 months
  • Buttermilk: 1 to 2 weeks
  • Cottage Cheese: 1 week
  • Cream Cheese: 2 weeks
  • Half-and-Half: 3 to 4 days
  • Hard Cheese (such as cheddar or Swiss), Opened: 3 to 4 weeks
  • Hard Cheese (such as cheddar or Swiss), Unopened: 6 months
  • Margarine: 6 months
  • Milk: 1 week
  • Processed Cheese Slices: 1 to 2 months
  • Shredded Cheese: 1 month
  • Soft Cheese (such as brie): 1 week
  • Sour Cream: 1 to 3 weeks
  • Soy Milk: 1 week
  • Whipped Cream: 1 day
  • Whipped Topping: 1 to 2 weeks
  • Whipping Cream: 1 month
  • Yogurt: 1 to 2 weeks

Prepared Foods

  • Bagels: 1 to 2 weeks
  • Bread: 1 to 2 weeks
  • Broth: 1 to 2 days
  • Cake or Cheesecake: 1 week
  • Cookies: 2 months
  • Leftovers: 3 to 4 days
  • Muffins: 1 week
  • Pie: 3 to 4 days
  • Rolls: 1 week
  • Soup or Stew: 3 to 4 days
  • Tortillas: 4 to 7 days

Condiments

  • Barbecue Sauce: 4 months
  • Chocolate Syrup: 6 months
  • Frosting, Canned: 1 week
  • Jams & Jellies: 6 months
  • Ketchup: 6 months
  • Maple Syrup: 12 months
  • Mayo: 2 months
  • Mustard: 12 months
  • Olives: 2 weeks
  • Pickles: 1 to 2 weeks
  • Salad Dressing: 3 months
  • Salsa: 1 month
  • Spaghetti Sauce: 4 days

While this list provides some guidance, we encourage you to take it with a grain of salt. If the food in question looks or smells funky, it’s in your best interest to toss it. Better safe than sorry!

Source: FoodKeeper, a tool developed by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, along with Cornell University and the Food Marketing Institute.

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Kelsey Mulvey
Kelsey Mulvey is a freelance writer and editor based in New York. Her hobbies include wine, nachos and the occasional hibachi dinner.