Agriculture_Markets
Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
 
 

Food Storage Guidelines

Before opening, shelf-stable foods should be safe unless the can or packaging has been damaged. After opening, store products in tightly closed containers. The storage of many shelf-stable items at room temperature is a quality issue - unless the product is contaminated (bugs in flour, for example). Some foods must be refrigerated after opening, such as tuna or chili.

Shelf-stable foods

Unopened on shelf

Opened, refrigerated

Opened on shelf

Baby food, jars or cans

Fruits and vegetables

2 months after date

2-3 days

 

Meats and eggs

2 months after date

1 day

 

Cereal, dry mixes

Use-by date

 

2 months

Formula

Use-by date

1-2 days

 

Bacon Bits, imitation

4 months

 

4 months

Baking Ingredients

Baking powder

6 months

 

3 months

Baking soda

18 months

 

6 months

Biscuit or pancake mix

15 months

 

Pkg. use-by date

Cake, brownie and bread mixes

12-18 months

 

Pkg. use-by date

Cornmeal, regular degerminated

6-12 months

12 months

 

stone ground or blue

1 month

2-3 months

 

Cornstarch

18 months

 

18 months

Flour, white

6-12 months

 

6-8 months

Flour, whole wheat

1 month

6-8 months

 

Frosting, canned

10 months

1 week

 

Frosting mixes

12 months

 

3 months

Beans, dried

12 months

 

12 months

Canned goods, low acid

2-5 years

3-4 days

 

(such as meat, poultry, fish, gravy, stew, soups, beans, carrots, corn, pasta, peas, potatoes, spinach)

Canned goods, high acid

12-18 months

5-7 days

 

(such as juices, fruit, pickles, sauerkraut, tomato, soup, and foods in vinegar-based sauce)

Cereal, ready-to-eat

6-12 months

 

3 months

Cook before eating (oatmeal, etc.)

12 months

 

6-12 months

Chocolate, unsweetened and semi-sweet, solid

18-24 months

 

1 year

Chocolate syrup

2 years

6 months

 

Cocoa and cocoa mixes

Indefinitely

 

1 year

Coffee

Whole beans, non-vacuum bag

1-3 weeks

3-4 months frozen

 

Ground, in cans

2 years

2 weeks

 

Instant, jars and tins

12 months

 

2-3 months

Condiments

Barbecue sauce, bottled

12 months

4 months

1 month

Catsup, tomato; cocktail sauce or chili sauce

12 months

6 months

1 month

Chutney

12 months

1-2 months

 

Horseradish, in jars

12 months

3-4 months

 

Mayonnaise, commercial

2-3 months

2 months

 

Mustard

12 months

1 year

1-2 months

Olives, black and green

12-18 months

2 weeks

 

Pickles

12 months

1-2 months

 

Salad dressings, commercial, bottled

10-12 months

3 months

 

Salsa, picante and taco sauces

12 months

1 month

 

Cookies, packaged

2 months

8-12 months frozen

4 weeks

Crackers

8 months

Freeze or refrigerate
3-4 months

1 month

Diet powder mixes

6 months

 

3 months

Extracts, vanilla, lemon, etc.

3 years

 

1 year

Fruits, dried

6 months

6 months

 

Garlic, chopped, commercial jars

18 months

Refrigerate; use by date on jar

 

Gelatin, flavored

18 months

 

Use all or reseal for
3-4 months

Gelatin, unflavored

3 years

 

Use all or reseal for
3-4 months

Gravy, jars & cans

2-5 years

1-2 days

 

Dry gravy mixes

2 years

 

Mix entire packet

Herbs, dried

1-2 years

 

Store in cook dark place 1 year

Honey

12 months

 

12 months

Jams, jellies, preserves

12 months

6 months

 

Juice, boxes

4-6 months

8-12 days

 

Lentils, dried

12 months

 

12 months

Maple syrup,
pure genuine

12 months

12 months

 

Marshmallows,
marshmallow creme

2-4 months

 

1 month

Milk, canned
evaporated

12 months

4-5 days

 

Molasses

12 months

 

6 months

Mushrooms, dried

6 months

 

3 months

Oils, olive or vegetable

6 months

 

4-6 months

walnut, macadamia,
other nut oils

6 months

4 months

 

vegetable oil sprays

2 years

 

1 year

Nuts, jars or cans

12 months

4-6 months,
Freeze 9-12 months

 

Pasta, dry, made
without eggs

2 years

 

1 year

Dry egg noodles

2 years

 

1-2 months

Peanut butter,
commercial

6-9 months

 

2-3 months

Peas, dried split

12 months

 

12 months

Pectin

Use by package date

 

1 month

Popcorn, dry
kernels in jar

2 years

 

1 year

commercially
popped in bags

2-3 months

 

1-2 weeks

Microwave packets

12 months

 

1-2 days popped

Potato chips

2 months

 

1-2 weeks

Potatoes, instant

6-12 months

 

6-12 months

Pudding mixes

12 months

 

3-4 months

Rice, white or wild

2 years

 

1 year

Brown

1 year

6 months

 

Flavored or herb
mixes

6 months

 

Use entire amount

Sauce mixes, non
dairy (spaghetti,
taco, etc.)

2 years

 

Use entire amount

cream sauces with
milk solids

1 year

   

Shortening, solid

8 months

 

3 months

Soda such as carbonated cola drinks, mixers:

Diet sodas,
bottles or cans

3 months
after date

2-3 days

 

Regular sodas,
bottles

3 months
after date

2-3 days

 

Regular sodas,
cans

9 months
after date

n.a.

 

Soup mixes

12 months

 

Use entire amount

Spices, whole

2-4 years

 

Included in total

ground

2-3 years

 

Included in total

Paprika, red pepper, chili powder

2 years

Store in refrigerator

 

Sugar, brown

4 months

 

Sugar never spoils

Granulated

2 years

   

Confectioners

18 months

   

Sugar substitutes

2 years

   

Syrup, pancake, maple & other flavors

12 months

 

12 months

Tapioca

12 months

 

12 months

Tea, bags

18 months

 

12 months

Loose

2 years

 

6-12 months

Instant

3 years

 

6-12 months

Toaster pastries,
fruit filled

6 months

 

Keep foil packets
sealed

non-fruit fillings

9 months

   

Tomatoes, sun
dried, packed in oil

12 months

6-12 months

 

packed in cellophane

9 months

 

3-6 months

Vinegar

2 years

 

12 months

Yeast, dry,
packets and jars

Use-by date

Refrigerate
open jars

 

Water, bottled

1-2 years

 

3 months

Worcestershire
sauce

1 year

 

1 year

Bakery items containing custards, meat or vegetables, and frostings made of cream cheese, whipped cream or eggs must be kept refrigerated. Bread products not containing these ingredients are safe at room temperature, but eventually they will mold and become unsafe to eat.

Bakery Item

Shelf

Refrigerator

Freezer

Bread, commercial

2-4 days

7-14 days

3 months

Bread, flat (tortillas, pita)

2-4 days

4-7 days

4 months

Cakes, Angel Food*

1-2 days

7 days

2 months

Chiffon, sponge

1-2 days

7 days

2 months

Chocolate

1-2 days

7 days

4 months

Fruit cake

1 month

6 months

12 months

Made from mix

3-4 days

7 days

4 months

Pound cake

3-4 days

7 days

6 months

Cheesecake

No

7 days

2-3 months

Cookies, bakery or homemade

2-3 weeks

2 months

8-12 months

Croissants, butter

1 day

7 days

2 months

Doughnuts, glazed or cake

1-2 days

7 days

1 month

dairy cream-filled

No

3-4 days

No

Muffins

No

3-4 days

No

Pastries, Danish

1-2 days

7 days

2 months

Pies, cream

No

3-4 days

2 months

Chiffon

No

1-2 days

No

Fruit

1-2 days

7 days

No

Mincemeat

1-2 days

7 days

8 months

Pecan

2 hours

3-4 days

8 months

Pumpkin

2 hours

3-4 days

1-2 months

Quiche

3-4 days

7 days

1-2 months

Rolls, yeast, baked

Package date

7 days

2 months

filled, meat or vegetables

2 hours

3-4 days

2 months

*Refrigerate any cake with frosting made of cream cheese, butter cream, whipped cream or eggs.

Raw fruits are safe at room temperature, but after ripening, will mold and rot quickly. For best quality, store ripe fruit in the refrigerator or prepare and freeze.

Fruits

Shelf

Refrigerator

Freezer

Apples

1-2 days

3 weeks

Cooked, 8 months

Apricots

Until ripe

2-3 days

No

Avocados

Until ripe

3-4 days

No

Bananas

Until ripe

2 days, skin will blacken

Whole, peeled, 1 month

Berries, Cherries

No

1-2 days

4 months

Citrus fruit

10 days

1-2 weeks

No

Coconuts, fruits

1 week

2-3 weeks

Shredded, 6 months

Grapes

1 day

1 week

Whole, 1 month

Kiwi Fruit

Until ripe

3-4 days

No

Melons

1-2 days

3-4 days

Balls, 1 month

Papaya, mango

3-5 days

1 week

No

Peaches, nectarines

Until ripe

3-4 days

Sliced, lemon juice & sugar, 2 months

Pears, plums

3-5 days

3-4 days

No

Vegetable

Shelf

Raw, refrigerated

Blanched, cooked or frozen

Artichokes, whole

1-2 days

1-2 weeks

No

Asparagus

No

3-4 days

8 months

Beans, green or wax

No

3-4 days

8 months

Beets

1 day

7-10 days

6-8 months

Cabbage

No

1-2 weeks

10-12 months

Carrots, parsnips

No

2 weeks

10-12 months

Celery

No

1-2 weeks

10-12 months

Cucumbers

No

4-5 days

No

Eggplant

1 day

3-4 days

6-8 months

Garlic, ginger root

2 days

1-2 weeks

1 month

Greens

No

1-2 days

10-12 months

Herbs, fresh

No

7-10 days

1-2 months

Leeks

No

1-2 weeks

10-12 months

Lettuce, iceberg

No

1-2 weeks

No

Lettuce, leaf

No

3-7 days

No

Mushrooms

No

2-3 days

10-12 months

Okra

No

2-3 days

10-12 months

Onions, dry

2-3 weeks

2 months

10-12 months

Spring or green

No

1-2 weeks

 

Peppers, bell

No

4-5 days

6-8 months

or chili

No

4-5 days

6-8 months

Potatoes

1-2 months

1-2 weeks

Cooked and mashed, 10-12 months

Rutabagas

1 week

2 weeks

8-10 months

Spinach

No

1-2 days

10-12 months

Squash, summer

No

4-5 days

10-12 months

Winter

1 week

2 weeks

 

Turnips

No

2 weeks

8-10 months

Tomatoes

Until ripe

2-3 days

2 months

When shopping, place frozen foods in the cart last, immediately before checking out. Take the foods directly home and place in freezer. For storage of meat and poultry purchased frozen, see refrigerated foods chart.

Frozen item

Freezer

In refrigerator after thawing

Bagels

2 months

1-2 weeks

Bread dough, commercial

Use-by date

After baking, 4-7 days

Burritos, sandwiches

2 months

3-4 days

Egg substitutes

12 months

Date on carton

Fish, breaded

3 months

Do not defrost. Cook frozen.

Fish, raw

6 months

1-2 days

Fruit such as berries, melons

4-6 months

4-5 days

Guacamole

3-4 months

3-4 days

Ice cream

2-4 months

Not applicable

Juice concentrates

6-12 months

7-10 days

Lobster tails

3 months

2 days

Pancakes, waffles

2 months

3-4 days

Sausages, uncooked

1-2 months

1-2 days

precooked

1-2 months

7 days

Sherbert, sorbet

2-4 months

Not applicable

Shrimp, shellfish

12 months

1-2 days

Topping, whipped

6 months

2 weeks

TV dinners, entrees, breakfast

3 months

Do not defrost. Cook frozen.

Vegetables

8 months

3-4 days

Refrigerate foods to maintain quality as well as keep them safe. Some bacteria grow and multiply — although very slowly — at refrigerated temperatures. There is a limit to the time various foods will stay fresh and safe in a refrigerator. Food kept continuously frozen at 00F will always be safe but the quality suffers with lengthy freezer storage.

Product

Refrigerated

Frozen

Beverages, fruit

3 weeks unopened

Juices in cartons, fruit drinks, punch

7-10 days open

8-12 months

Condiments

Refrigerated pesto, salsa

Date on carton; 3 days after opening

1-2 months

Sour cream-based dip

2 weeks

Doesn’t freeze well

Dairy products

Butter

1-3 months

6-9 months

Buttermilk

7-14 days

3 months

Cheese, hard
(such as cheddar, Swiss)

6 months unopened;
3-4 weeks opened

6 months

Cheese, soft
(such as Brie, Bel Paese)

1 week

6 months

Cottage cheese, Ricotta

1 week

Doesn’t freeze well

Cream cheese

2 weeks

Doesn’t freeze well

Cream whipping,
ultra-pasteurized

1 month

Do not freeze

Whipped, sweetened

1 day

1-2 months

Aerosol can, real whipped cream

3-4 weeks

Do not freeze

Aerosol can, non-dairy topping

3 months

Do not freeze

Cream, Half and Half

3-4 days

4 months

Egg, substitutes, liquid

unopened

10 days

Manufacturer says
"Do not freeze"

opened

3 days

Manufacturer says
"Do not freeze"

Eggnog, commercial

3-5 days

6 months

Eggs, in shell

3-5 weeks

Do not freeze

Raw whites

2-4 days

12 months

Raw yolks

2-4 days

Doesn’t freeze well

Hard cooked

1 week

Doesn’t freeze well

Margarine

4-5 months

12 months

Milk

7 days

3 months

Pudding

Package date; 2 days after opening

Do not freeze

Sour cream

7-21 days

Doesn’t freeze well

Yogurt

7-14 days

1-2 months

Deli Foods

Entrees, cold or hot

3-4 days

2-3 months

Store-sliced lunch meats

3-5 days

1-2 months

Salads

3-5 days

Do not freeze

Dough

Tube cans of biscuits, rolls, pizza dough, etc.

Use-by date

Do not freeze

Ready-to-bake pie crust

Use-by date

2 months

Cookie dough

Use-by date, unopened or opened

2 months

Fish

Lean fish (cod, flounder, haddock, sole, etc.)

1-2 days

6 months

Fatty fish (bluefish, mackerel, salmon, etc.)

1-2 days

2-3 months

Caviar, non-pasteurized (fresh)

6 months unopened;
2 days after opening

Do not freeze

Caviar, pasteurized, vacuum-packaged

1 year unopened;
2 days after opening

Do not freeze

Cooked fish

3-4 days

4-6 months

Smoked fish

14 days or date on vacuum packaging

2 months in
vacuum packaging

Shellfish

Shrimp, scallops, crayfish, squid

1-2 days

3-6 months

Shucked clams, mussels and oysters

1-2 days

3-6 months

Live clams, mussels, crab, lobster and oysters

2-3 days

2-3 months

Cooked shellfish

3-4 days

3 months

Meat, fresh

Beef, lamb, pork, or veal chops; Steaks, roasts

3-5 days

4-12 months

Ground meat

1-2 days

3-4 months

Variety meats (liver, tongue, chitterlings, etc.)

1-2 days

3-4 months

cooked meats
(after home cooking)

3-4 days

2-3 months

Meat, smoked or processed

Bacon

7 days

1 month

Corned beef, in pouch with pickling juices

5-7 days

1 month

Ham, canned
("keep refrigerated" label)

6-9 months

Not in can

Ham, fully cooked, whole

7 days

1-2 months

Ham, fully cooked, slices or halves

3-4 days

1-2 months

Ham, cooked before eating

7 days

1-2 months

Hot dogs, sealed in package

2 weeks

1-2 months

Hot dogs, after opening

1 week

1-2 months

Lunch meats, sealed in package

2 weeks

1-2 months

Lunch meats, after opening

3-5 days

1-2 months

Sausage, raw, bulk type

1-2 days

1-2 months

Sausage, smoked links, patties

7 days

1-2 months

Sausage, hard, dry (pepperoni), sliced

2-3 weeks

1-2 months

Pasta, fresh

Pasta, fresh

1-2 days or use-by date on package

2 months

Poultry, fresh

Chicken or turkey, whole

1-2 days

12 months

Chicken or turkey, parts

1-2 days

9 months

Duckling or goose, whole

1-2 days

6 months

Giblets

1-2 days

3-4 months

Poultry, cooked or processed

Chicken, nuggets, patties

1-2 days

1-3 months

Cooked poultry dishes

3-4 days

4-6 months

Fried chicken

3-4 days

4 months

Ground turkey or chicken

1-2 days

3-4 months

Lunch meats, sealed in package

2 weeks

1-2 months

Lunch meats, after opening

3-5 days

1-2 months

Pieces covered with broth or gravy

1-2 days

6 months

Rotisserie chicken

3-4 days

4 months