Food & Nutrition

How Long Does Meat Last in the Fridge?

Food storage brings up a lot of questions and concerns, especially when it involves meat products. Here are the guidelines for deciding what’s safe to eat.

Raw poultry

Raw organic uncooked whole chicken with salt and pepper on backing paper in old oven tray with white kitchen towel and meat fork over black burnt wooden background. Top view with space.Natasha Breen/Shutterstock

Raw poultry lasts just a day or two in the fridge (at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder), but up to a year in the freezer (at a temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit or colder). Cooked poultry can be refrigerated a few days longer and should be frozen no longer than two to six months. Watch out for these other foods that you’ve been storing wrong this whole time.

Red meat and pork

Close up Wooden Chopping Board with Raw Beef Meat on a Rustic Table with Herbs and Spicesstockcreations/Shutterstock

Red meat and pork can remain in the refrigerator for up to five days and can be frozen for four to 12 months. Leftover cooked meat will last three to four days in the refrigerator and two to six months in the freezer.

Ground meats

meat in shopPavel L Photo and Video/Shutterstock

Ground meats such as beef, veal, pork, or poultry can be refrigerated for one to two days and frozen for three to four months. Watch out for these foods that are probably spoiled in your fridge right now.

Lunchmeats and hot dogs

Several cooking hot dogs on a grillJasonCPhoto/Shutterstock

Hot dogs and lunchmeats will last two weeks in the refrigerator unopened and should be eaten within three to five days of opening (hot dogs can go a couple of days longer). In the freezer, they’ll last one to two months.

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Food – Reader's Digest