Food & Recipes

How Long You Can Store Everything In The Fridge, Pantry Or Freezer [INFOGRAPHIC]

This wonderful infographic tells you how long your food will last sitting on the counter, in the pantry, in the fridge or in the freezer.

We’ve all been there. You’re cleaning out the freezer, and everything is an unidentified frost-bitten mess. Or you reach for that yogurt at the back of the fridge, only to feel too sketched out to actually taste it.

Fear no more. This wonderful infographic tells you how long your food will last sitting on the counter, in the pantry, in the fridge or in the freezer. The chart breaks exactly how long various items, including fruit, veggies and condiments last, depending on where you store it.

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For example, did you know you can leave ketchup out on the counter for a whole year? Meanwhile, its fellow condiment counterpart, mayonnaise, only lats two to three months on a counter or in a pantry. However, it does last a little over a year in the refrigerator. And obviously, neither are meant to be frozen!

Other foods have much shorter shelf lives, even if they’re frozen. Though apples can last up to a year in the freezer, they will only last one to two months in the fridge and anywhere from two to four weeks in a pantry. Bananas expire even faster, lasting up around a week either on a counter or in a fridge and up to two to three months in the freezer.

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The longest-lasting frozen fruits, besides apples, are peaches and cantaloupe. Though both only last around a week when stored in the refrigerator, they can stay good anywhere from eight to 12 months when kept in the freezer.

As the chart highlights, vegetables typically last longer than fruits, particularly in the freezer. Broccoli can last anywhere from a week to two in the fridge, but can stay good anywhere from eight to 12 months when frozen. It takes longer for carrots to expire in the refrigerator — anywhere from a month to five weeks — but they can also last up to a year in the freezer.

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Cucumbers and green beans can also stay edible for up to eight to 12 months when frozen, but only last about a week in the fridge. And don’t bother keeping green beans out on the counter or stored in a pantry — they’ll only last about a day that way.

The two veggies that are not recommended for freezing: potatoes and lettuce. They will last the longest in the fridge.

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As for dairy, butter and cheeses also last about the same amount of time in the freezer, from six to nine months. But when kept in the refrigerator, butter lasts a few weeks less than cheese, which can stay safely there from two to four months.

Meanwhile, milk and yogurt both last around a month in the freezer.

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The final category: meats. Of all the typical meat options, chicken lasts the longest when frozen. You can store it in the freezer safely for up to a year and in the fridge for one to two days when thawed.

Steak lasts anywhere from six to eight months in the freezer, as does hamburger meat.

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Fish can last in the freezer for six months to nine months while ham can stay frozen for up to six months. And if breakfast meat is your thing, you’ll be happy to learn that bacon can stay good in the freezer for approximately four months.

bacon photo
Getty Images | Joe Raedle

Check out the full infographic below for more information:

The Shelf Life of Food

by LindsaySnowOsborn. Additional reporting by Michelle Regalado.