With people around the globe stocking up on food amid the coronavirus pandemic, it is important to be aware just how long each item can last before it goes off.
From how long meat will last in the freezer, to which grocery items should be refrigerated, this is what you need to know about keeping food fresh in the coming weeks.
What should you refrigerate and how long will each product last?
According to the Mayo Clinic, meat, fish, dairy products, and eggs should all be refrigerated - both when raw and after they are cooked.
Some fruits and vegetables, perishables such as sauces and condiments, and uncooked foods such as cold salads should also be refrigerated.
“Your goal is to reduce the time a food is in the ‘danger zone’ - between 40 and 140F (4 and 60C) - when bacteria can quickly multiply,” the organisation explains.
According to StillTasty, a shelf-life guide, this is how long food can last in the fridge.
Meat, poultry and fish
Meat and poultry - two to three days
Sausages - three days
Bacon, cooked - four to five days
Sliced meat from deli counter - three to five days
Cooked fish - three to four days
Raw fish - one to two days
Fruits and vegetables
Cooked asparagus and other cooked vegetables - three to five days
Raw baby carrots - two to three weeks
Whole raw cucumber - one week
Whole apples - one to two months
Avocados - three to five days once ripe
Bananas - five to seven days once ripe
Mixed fresh cut-up fruits - three to five days
Eggs and dairy products
Cheese (processed unopened slices) - one month
Butter - one month after sell-by date on package
Opened tub of cream cheese - one to two weeks
Fresh eggs in the shell - four to five weeks
Hard-boiled eggs - one week
Unopened non-dairy coffee creamer - two weeks
Milk - five to seven days after “sell-by” date on package
Opened salad dressing - six to nine months
Opened pickles - one year
Cocktail sauce - six to nine months
Ketchup - nine to 12 months
Mayonnaise - two to three months
During periods of self-quarantine or self-isolation, it is especially useful to have canned grocery items such as beans, rice or soup, which are kept in the pantry.
This is how long canned or nonperishable items can last unopened in the pantry
Most varieties of beans - two to three years
Canned soups - three to five years
Dried pasta - one year
Uncooked white rice - four to five years
Brown rice - six to eight months
If you’ve stocked up on perishable items, the good news is you can also keep them frozen for extended periods of time. As a general rule, most foods can be kept in the freezer nine months to a year, but it does vary by product.
This is how long you can freeze foods such as meat, poultry, fish and baked goods
Poultry, whole - one year
Steak - one year
White fish - eight months
Open packs of frozen fruit - eight months
Bread - six months
Stocks - six months
Oily fish like salmon - six months
Pastries - four months
Salted butter - four months
Soups and sauces - three months
Ice cream - four months
To prepare for a global health crisis, the website suggests stocking up on a two-week supply of water and food, as well as periodically checking your regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home.
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