We’ve all been there. We defrost some chicken or beef or pork but don’t get to cook it right away and end up in front of the fridge smelling it trying to decide whether it’s still safe enough to cook and eat. Nobody likes to throw away perfectly good food, but at the same time, nobody wants to cook and eat something that may give us food poisoning.
So, how do you know whether meat is still safe enough to eat and cook? With Fourth of July barbecues coming up that's definitely a valid question, since you don't want your guests getting sick. Well, worry no more because here’s a guide to let you know how long your meat will stay safe in your fridge.
- Raw Poultry – As long as your fridge is 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder, that raw chicken will last a day or two in the fridge, and up to a year in the freezer. If the chicken is cooked, it will last a few days longer in the fridge, and two to six months in the freezer
- Red Meat and Pork – Both can stay good up to five days in the fridge, and four to 12 months in the freezer. If the meats are cooked, they’ll last three to four days in the fridge, and two to six months in the freezer.
- Ground Meats – Only one or two days in the fridge, three to four months in the freezer.
- Lunchmeats and hot dogs – About two weeks unopened in the fridge, although they should be eaten within three to five days after opening. Frozen they last one to two months.
- Bacon and sausage – Bacon lasts up to a week in the fridge, although raw sausage only lasts about two days. Frozen they both can last for a month, although some sausages last even longer.
- Deli salads – These should never be frozen, but they do last about three to five days in the fridge.
Source: Fox News