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When to Dispose of or Toss Food

Heat, light and air can affect butter and give it unpleasant smell and taste. Fresh butter can be stored in the fridge for 2 weeks. But it can be persevered in the freezer for 9 months if well wrapped in plastic. If you have to soften it, you can leave it on the counter for 10-15 minutes.

Milk go bad very quickly, so throw it out if it smells bad or when out of the fridge for long hours. Milk will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks and not longer than the expiration date on the pack. You can freeze milk for up to 3 months.

Uncooked Chicken
Whole, in pieces, boneless or ground, it’s best to use or freeze within 2 days. If it is frozen defrost it in the fridge for a whole day. You can safely refreeze it if you do not use it, but it may change the taste texture.

  • Whole Chicken can freeze for up to 12 months.
  • Chicken Parts can freeze for nine months.
  • Ground Chicken can freeze for 3-4 months.
  • Giblets (organs) can freeze for 3-4 months.

Cooked Chicken
You can keep cook chicken in the fridge and use it within 5 days. Be careful when you handle any type of meat, wash your hands with soap and warm water after handling raw meat, chicken or fish. Throw away any food that touches the meat juices.

Uncooked Beef
Uncooked Beef can be kept in the fridge for between 3-5 days. Vacuum sealed meat can stay few days longer.

  • You can freeze roast beef for between 6-12 months.
  • You can freeze steaks and chops for between 4-6 months.
  • While you can freeze stew meats for between 3-4 months.

Fresh Ground Beef
It’s natural for ground beef to turn slightly brown, but it should not stay in the fridge for more than 1-2 days. It will keep for 3-4 months in the freezer.

Freshly cut cutlets, steaks, or roast are pink and firm. It’s okay in the fridge for 3-5 days. If they are vacuumed sealed they can last a few days longer. They freeze well for about six months.

Turkey is only safe for about 1-2 days in the fridge.
A whole turkey freezes well for one year before it starts to lose flavor. Once it is frozen it takes 1 day for every 5 pounds of turkey to defrost in the fridge.

Deli Meats
The best way is to follow guidelines or expiration dates on the package.
Hot dogs should last a week in the fridge after it is opened or two weeks if unopened. To keep them safe from bacteria freeze them. The quality starts to drop after 1 or 2 months in the freezer.

Eggs last up to 3-5 weeks in the fridge if they are uncooked. Eggs cooked or not do not freeze well. Dishes made with eggs like casseroles, pies and quiches should not last more than 3-5 days in the fridge or a month or two in the freezer.

Keep fresh Fish on ice in the fridge for a day or two. Toss fish that smells or has changed color. Wrap any you don’t cook within 2 days in plastic or foil and freeze it.

You should use shrimp the day you buy them, otherwise freeze immediately. Defrost in the fridge for a few hours before the next use.

For Produce, common sense is the rule. Sometimes you can cut away bruised or faded bits of fruits and vegetables. But if it smells it is probably too far gone and should be tossed. Wash all produce right before you eat it and if you dry it, make sure to use a clean towel. Store prepackaged produce in the fridge. Throw away any that comes in contact with juices from raw meat, poultry or seafood.

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