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Food Shelf Life

  • There are many ways to ensure that your food stays as fresh as possible for as long as possible. Below are some helpful tips on how to safely handle your food.
  • Storing Your Food
  • Not all foods can be stored in the same way or for the same amount of time.
  • Some foods will need to be stored in the refrigerator; others can be kept at room temperature. Freezing your food can be a helpful way of extending its shelf life. Storing food in the refrigerator or freezer should be done as quickly as possible after it is purchased.
  • Fresh meat can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days before being cooked, but should be consumed within 2-3 days of preparation.
  • Poultry, fish and shellfish must be cooked within 1-2 days of purchasing, but can be stored in the refrigerator for an additional 3-4 days after being cooked.
  • Sausages, ham and other processed meats have a longer shelf life, as they have been processed with certain additives and preservatives.
  • Other food types such as pasta, rice, cereal and most dairy products will keep fresh for long as long as not opened.
  • Fruit juices and mayonnaise are foods that will stay fresh for several weeks if left unopened; however once opened, these may need to be used within a few days or weeks.

Once a food item is opened it is best to consume the product as quickly as possible.