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Here's How Long Your Food Will Stay Safe In The Fridge

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There's been a lot of discussion about the right and wrong food to store in the refrigerator and freezer.

Once you've cleared up what belongs where, the next step is knowing how long the food will last. Storing food is a delicate matter -- in the fridge, food might get moist and moldy, and in the freezer it could lose all its moisture or get freezer burn. If you leave food in the fridge or freezer too long, it could not only lose its integrity but it may also become unsafe to eat. FoodSafety.gov has two useful charts listing how long certain foods will stay good in both the refrigerator and the freezer. The first chart lists all kinds of commonly refrigerated foods and the second is specifically for eggs and food made with eggs. The website specifies suggested storage guidelines that should keep foods from spoiling and becoming unsafe to eat. Suggested time limits for food in the freezer are for quality only, because "frozen foods remain safe indefinitely."

You might be surprised at how long or how short some of your favorite foods are supposed to last in the fridge. It's always a good time to educate yourself on food safety, but with Fourth of July and the inevitable cookouts coming up, now is as good a time as ever to make sure your knowledge is current. Do you know how long an unopened package of hot dogs will stay good versus an opened package? If you're looking to preserve the lifespan of your macaroni salad, should you put it in the fridge or freezer, and how long will it stay good? You may be serving a crowd, so make sure you know what you're giving them, and what to expect for leftovers.

Test your knowledge below and learn how long your food will stay good in the refrigerator and freezer.

To uncover the correct answer, simply highlight the space after "fridge" or "freezer," and reveal the hidden text.

  • 1
    Mayo-Based Salads: Chicken Salad, Egg Salad, Tuna Salad Or Macaroni Salad
    Buns In My Oven
    In the fridge: 3 to 5 days

    In the freezer: Does not freeze well.
  • 2
    Hot Dogs (Opened Package)
    Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious/Flickr
    In the fridge: 1 week

    In the freezer: 1 to 2 months
  • 3
    Hot Dogs (Unopened Package)
    gagilas/Flickr
    In the fridge: 2 weeks

    In the freezer: 1-2 months
  • 4
    Lunch Meat (Opened Package Or Deli Sliced)
    Paul Poplis via Getty Images
    In the fridge: 3-5 days

    In the freezer: 1-2 months
  • 5
    Lunch Meat (Unopened Package)
    PM Images via Getty Images
    In the fridge: 2 weeks

    In the freezer: 1-2 months
  • 6
    Bacon
    Snap Decision via Getty Images
    In the fridge: 7 days

    In the freezer: 1 month
  • 7
    Sausage (Raw) From Chicken, Turkey, Pork, Beef
    cobalt123/Flickr
    In the fridge: 1-2 days

    In the freezer: 1-2 months
  • 8
    Ground Beef, Pork, Chicken, Turkey
    Lauri Patterson via Getty Images
    In the fridge: 1-2 days

    In the freezer: 3-4 months
  • 9
    Fresh Beef, Veal, Lamb & Pork: Steaks
    Ursula Alter via Getty Images
    In the fridge: 3-5 days

    In the freezer: 6-12 months
  • 10
    Fresh Beef, Veal, Lamb & Pork: Chops
    Another Pint Please.../Flickr
    In the fridge: 3-5 days

    In the freezer: 4-6 months
  • 11
    Fresh Beef, Veal, Lamb & Pork: Roasts
    Riou via Getty Images
    In the fridge: 3-5 days

    In the freezer: 4-12 months
  • 12
    Fresh Poultry: Chicken Or Turkey, Whole
    I Believe I Can Fry/Flickr
    In the fridge: 1-2 days

    In the freezer: 1 year
  • 13
    Fresh Poultry: Chicken Or Turkey, Pieces
    Clive Streeter and Patrick McLeavy via Getty Images
    In the fridge: 1-2 days

    In the freezer: 9 months
  • 14
    Soups & Stews: Vegetable Or Meat Added
    Phoebe_Lapine via Getty Images
    In the fridge: 3-4 days

    In the freezer: 2-3 months
  • 15
    Leftover Cooked Meat Or Poultry
    variophoto via Getty Images
    In the fridge: 3-4 days

    In the freezer: 2-6 months
  • 16
    Leftover Chicken Nuggets Or Patties
    my_amii/Flickr
    In the fridge: 3-4 days

    In the freezer: 1-3 months
  • 17
    Leftover Pizza
    Image Source RF/Chad Springer via Getty Images
    In the fridge: 3-4 days

    In the freezer: 1-2 months
  • 18
    Raw Eggs In Shell
    Image by Catherine MacBride via Getty Images
    In the fridge: 3-5 weeks

    In the freezer: Do not freeze. Instead, beat yolks and whites together; then freeze. Or freeze whites and yolks separately.
  • 19
    Raw Egg Whites
    Tohoku Color Agency via Getty Images
    In the fridge: 3-4 days

    In the freezer: 12 months
  • 20
    Raw Egg Yolks
    Andrew Unangst via Getty Images
    In the fridge: 2-4 days

    In the freezer: Yolks do not freeze well.
  • 21
    Hard-Cooked Eggs
    Fotosearch via Getty Images
    In the fridge: 1 week

    In the freezer: Do not freeze.
  • 22
    Quiche
    Charles Islander via Getty Images
    In the fridge: 3-4 days

    In the freezer: After baking, 1-2 months.
  • 23
    Pies: Custard And Chiffon
    Debbi Smirnoff via Getty Images
    In the fridge: 3-4 days

    In the freezer: Do not freeze.
  • 24
    Pies: Pumpkin And Pecan
    Photo by Jessica Goodman via Getty Images
    In the fridge: 3-4 days

    In the freezer: After baking, 1-2 months.


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Correction: This post originally stated that eggs stay good in the refrigerator for three to five days, when in fact they stay good for three to five weeks.

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