Awareness of the shelf life of food is a twofold concern, balancing food safety and concerns of not being wasteful of money and resources. Americans throw away nearly 40% of the food grown in the country. This amounts to 1,400 calories per person per day, around $400 per person, per year. Shockingly, 31 million tons of food are added to landfills each year! To help balance good health, thriftiness and being a conscientious citizen of the planet, we’ve put together a list of the shelf life of many common foods and best ways to store them to preserve freshness!

Shelf Life of Fruits and Vegetables

Apples – Refrigerator: 3-5 months

Oranges – Room Temp: 3-4 days  Refrigerator: 5-6 weeks

Lemons & Limes – Room Temp: 1 week  Refrigerator: 2-5 weeks

Grapefruit – Room Temp: 1 weeks  Refrigerator: 2 weeks

Stone fruits (apricots, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums) – Refrigerator: 3-5 days

Avocados (ripe) – Room Temp: 2-3 days   Refrigerator: 5-10 days

Berries and Cherries – Refrigerator: 2-3 days

Grapes – Refrigerator: 1-2 weeks

Commercially frozen fruits – 1 year

Canned Fruits – Refrigerator, unopened: 1-2 years.

                         Opened (stored in airtight container): 2-3 days


Asparagus – Refrigerator: 3-5 days

Carrots – Refrigerator: 2-4 weeks

Green Beans – Refrigerator: 1 week

Bell Peppers – Refrigerator: 1-2 weeks

Tomatoes – Room Temperature: 2-5 days depending on size and ripeness.

Mushrooms – Refrigerator: 1-2 days

Commercially frozen vegetables – 8-12 months

Canned vegetables – Room Temperature: 1 year  

          Refrigerator (opened, stored in airtight container): 3-5 days
Shelf Life of Meat, Poultry, Fish and Eggs

Bacon – Refrigerator: 7 days  Freezer: 1 month

Raw Sausage – Refrigerator: 1-2 days  Freezer: 1-2 months

Hard Sausage – Refrigerator: 2-3 weeks  Freezer: 1-2 months

Ground Beef, Turkey, Chicken, Lamb, Pork – Refrigerator: 1-2 days  Freezer: 3-4 months

Steaks/Chops/Roasts (Beef, Pork, Lamb) – Refrigerator: 3-5 days

Freezer varies: Steaks – 6-12 months, Chops – 4-6 months, Roasts – 4-12 months

Fresh Poultry (whole) – Refrigerator: 1-2 days  Freezer: 1 year

Fresh Poultry (pieces) – Refrigerator: 1-2 days  Freezer: 9 months

Fish – Refrigerator: 1-2 days  Freezer: Lean fish (cod, haddock, flounder) – 6 months

   Fatty Fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel) – 2-3 months

Eggs – Refrigerator: Will maintain their best quality for around 3 weeks after the “sell by” or expiration date on the carton. To determine if an egg is still good, you can do a “float test” by putting it in a bowl of waters. If it sinks, it is safe to use. If it floats, it means that gases have built up in it’s shell and it’s not safe for consumption.

Pantry Staples ( kept in airtight storage)

Flour: 6-8 months

Milk (Evaporated, Powdered, Sweetened/Condensed): 1 year

Nuts: Shelled 4 months, Unshelled 6 months

Peanut Butter: 6-9 months unopened

Baking Soda: 2 years

Baking Powder: 18 months

Rice: White, Jasmine and Basmati – 2 years Brown and Wild – 6 months

Pasta: 2 years

Oil: Olive – 6 months, Canola – 1 year


Most vinegars are at their best within 2 years but is safe indefinitely. The following pantry staples will keep forever. . .




Real Vanilla Extract