People and Pets

ACES-2243
PREPARATION

Food Storage Charts

Freezer Storage Chart

Keep freezer at 0°F, maximum 5°F. Check temperature with a thermometer or use this rule of thumb: If the freezer can’t keep ice cream brick-solid, the temperature is above the recommended level. If this is the case, use food within a week or two. To wrap for storage for 1 month or more, use moisture-vapor-resistant plastic wrap (may be specially coated or laminated), or heavy-duty foil. After times listed, food is safe, but flavors fade.

Food Time Special Handling
HOME-FROZEN FOODS
Breads
baked
unbaked doughs
3 months
1 month
Use only special freezer-dough recipes.
Butter, margarine 9 months  
Cakes, baked 3 months  
Cookies, baked, dough 3 months  
Cheese
dry-curd cottage, ricotta
natural, hard
1 week

6 months
Creamed cottage cheese and cream cheese don’t freeze well. Cut and wrap cheese in small pieces.
Cream (all kinds)
whipped
2 months Thawed cream may not whip.
Eggs, in shell   Do not freeze.
Egg whites, yolks 1 year For sweet dishes: Mix each cup of yolks with 1 tablespoon corn syrup or sugar. For other cooking, substitute 1 teaspoon salt for sugar.
Fish, shellfish
fatty fish–bluefish, catfish, trout, etc.
lean fish–cod, flounder, etc.
shellfish
3 months

6 months

3 months
For all fish and shellfish: Wrap tightly in heavy-duty foil or freezer wrap.
Ice cream, sherbet 1 month  
Main dishes, cooked
meat, fish
poultry
3 months
6 months
Freeze in freezer- and oven-proof baking dishes or freezer containers.
Meat
bacon
frankfurters
ground, stew meat
ham
leftover cooked
roasts
beef, lamb
pork, veal
steaks, chops
beef
lamb, veal
pork
variety meats
1 month
1-2 months
3 months
2 months
3 months

1 year
8 months

1 year
9 months
9 months
4 months
If meat is purchased fresh and wrapped in plastic wrap, check for holes. If none, freeze in this wrap for up to 2 weeks. For longer storage, overwrap tightly with freezer or heavy-duty foil. Keep frankfurters in vacuum packages.
Nuts 3 months  
Pies
custard (homemade)
fruit
8 months Do not freeze.
Freeze baked or unbaked.
Poultry
cooked, with gravy
cooked, no gravy
uncooked (whole)
chicken, turkey
duck, goose
uncooked (parts)
chicken
turkey

6 months
1 month
1 year



6 months
9 months
9 months

Wrap in heavy-duty foil or freezer wrap as airtight as possible. Thaw uncooked poultry in refrigerator or under cool running water. Cook within 2 days of thawing.
Vegetables 1 year  
COMMERCIALLY FROZEN FOODS
Breads
baked
unbaked
3 months
Check label.
 
Cakes
angelfood
layer cake, frosted
pound, yellow cake
2 months
4 months
6 months
 
Coffee lighteners 1 year  
Doughnuts, pastries 3 months  
Fish
fatty fish–mackerel, trout, etc.
lean fish–cod, flounder, etc.
3 months
6 months
 
Shellfish
Alaskan king crab
breaded, cooked
lobsters, scallops
shrimp, unbreaded
10 months
3 months
3 months
1 year
 
Fruit 1 year  
Ice cream, sherbet 1 month  
Juices, concentrates 1 year  
Main dishes, pies, fish, meat
poultry
3 months
6 months
 
Meat
beef, roasts, steaks
ground
lamb, veal
roasts, steaks
pork
chops
roasts
1 year
4 months

9 months

4 months
8 months
 
Pancake, waffle batter 3 months  
Pies 8 months  
Poultry
chicken, turkey (parts)
chicken, turkey (whole bird)
duck, goose
turkey rolls, roasts
6 months
1 year
6 months
6months
 
Frozen dinners 6 months  
Vegetables 8 months  


Food Storage Charts Home  |  Pantry Chart  |  Refrigerator Chart  |  Freezer Chart  |  PDF Document


Jean Weese, Professor, Auburn University; Extension Specialist for Food Safety


This document is part of a larger publication titled Emergency Handbook: Preparation and Recovery (ACES-2168).

The Emergency Handbook is available digitally as an iBook and on the web. Use the left-hand navigation bar to access all topics and pages. This publication is not available in print. To download or print the pages you need, please look for Printable PDF Download this information.


For more information, contact your county Extension office.