Healthy Family | Home Safety | Health and Wealth | Relationship Issues | Career Advice | Growing Family
Get the SixWise e-Newsletter FREE!
Google Web
Free Newsletter Subscription
Get the Web's Most trusted & Informative Health, Wealth, Safety & More Newsletter -- FREE!


Share Email to a Friend Print This

How Long Before Different Refrigerated Foods Spoil
(& Other Secrets to Your Refrigerator)

We've all done it: wrap some leftover pizza in foil, or put your leftover casserole into a plastic container, then shove it into the back of the fridge, only to "rediscover" it four or five days later. You probably give it a sniff, and if it smells alright, go ahead and eat it. But is it really still good?

food in the refridgerator

As a rule of thumb, if you're wondering whether a food is still good, but you can't remember when you put it into the fridge, throw it out.

Here are some rather unpleasant things to consider:

  • If you've already double-dipped, say by eating right out of a cottage cheese container, saliva is transferred into the food where it can promote bacterial growth.

  • Mold is not always visible. It can exist in food without your being able to see it.

  • Oils in high-fat foods like mayonnaise and salad dressings break down over time, resulting in flavor changes. However, this can be subtle and you may not notice it, even though they're past their prime.

  • If you refrigerate leftovers in a big clump (such as in a Chinese food container), bacteria can begin to grow in the center even after it's in the fridge (because the middle can't cool down quickly enough).

To minimize your risk of food poisoning, it is therefore really better to be safe than sorry when it comes to food spoilage. Here we've compiled a guide for some common foods, along with how long you can expect them to last in your refrigerator.

Food Item Will Last ...
Eggs (fresh) 3-5 weeks
Eggs (hard-boiled) 1 week
Cheese 1-4 weeks
Milk 5 days
Butter 1-3 months
Ground beef 1-2 days
Fish 1-2 days
Chicken 1-2 days
Beef steaks and roasts 3-5 days
Pork chops 3-5 days
Pork roasts 3-5 days
Ground turkey, pork, lamb 1-2 days
Hotdogs (opened package) 1 week
Hotdogs (unopened package) 2 weeks
3-5 days
Bacon 1 week
Cooked or uncooked veggies 3-5 days
Berries 3-5 days
Salad dressing 3 months
Mayonnaise 2 months
Leftovers 3-4 days
Pasta sauce 5 days
Baby food 1-3 days
Egg/Chicken/Tuna/Ham salad 3-5 days
Gravy 1-2 days
Pizza 3-4 days
Mustard, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and other condiments Use within 1 year of opening
Salsa 1 month
Ketchup, peanut butter, jelly 6 months

Want to Make Your Food Last Longer?

Keep All of Your Veggies Fresh Longer


The MiniMate deodorizes (replacing the backing soda boxes in the fridge) plus more importantly it also kills potentially dangerous food-borne bacteria. This extends the freshness and life of many foods 3 to 4 times longer!

Plus, the MiniMate features:

  • An activated oxygen generator to eliminate odors, keep foods fresher longer and kill bacteria in your refrigerator
  • Naturally kills odors without any cover-up scents or fragrance
  • Reduces food spoilage and prevents cross-contamination of food odors
  • Breaks down pesticides and herbicides on produce

Find Out More About the MiniMate Refrigerator Unit Now!

On average, American families throw away 14 percent of the food they buy, and a large part of that is food that becomes spoiled before it's eaten. However, there is a solution.

Using FDA-approved technology, the Minimate Refrigerator Unit can extend the freshness and life of many of your foods by three to four times. It works by eliminating most of the germs or mold that may be living on your foods without harming the food or leaving behind any residue.

According to Consumer Reports, "This safe technology has been used for years in the wholesale produce and cut flower industries to extend the life of their products. Why? Because it kills the bacteria and mold that could spoil your food and make you sick.

The MiniMate takes this technology and shrinks it down to an appliance not much bigger than the box of baking soda that is probably in your refrigerator now. But instead of just deodorizing it helps sanitize too, making it a great deal for anyone who is concerned about their health."

On top of using the MiniMate, the following tips will also help your food to stay fresher:

  • Keep your refrigerator temperature between 35-40.5 degrees F, and freezer temperatures at 0.5 F or lower.

  • Leave space in between refrigerated items so the cold air can circulate.

  • Refrigerate foods within two hours of eating them.

expired food

If you eat right out of a food container, your saliva will promote bacterial growth and make the food spoil faster.

Recommended Reading

How Will Nanotechnology be Used in Food and What are the Potential Risks and Benefits?

15 Things You Never Thought You Needed to Know About ... Lunchmeat

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition August 6, 2007

Food Navigator November 26, 2004

California Poison Control System

To get more information about this and other highly important topics, sign up for your free subscription to our weekly "Be Safe, Live Long & Prosper" e-newsletter.

With every issue of the free newsletter, you’ll get access to the insights, products, services, and more that can truly improve your well-being, peace of mind, and therefore your life!


Email to a Friend Print This