Posted 6.24.13 @ 8:55 by: Staff

Did you know that the average Canadian throws away between $20 and $40 or the equivalent of 10KG of perfectly good food each and every month? That adds up to almost $500 a year in some cases - a nice little mortgage payment that could be going towards a new home!

Did you also know that most food borne illnesses happen at home, not in restaurants? Since some of the most harmful bacteria can't be tasted, smelled or seen, it's important to really understand how long staple foods last. Here we're going to go over how long some of the most common food staples last, so let's get started.

How Long are Leftovers Good For?

How many of us have woken up the next day and wondered if those chicken wing were REALLY still edible?

  • Meat (chicken wings, porkchops, fried chicken, etc): Fridge 2-4 days, Freezer 1-3 months
  • Pizza, Pasta, Takeout: Fridge 3-4 days, Freezer 2 months *If it contains a mayonaise based sauce it may not freeze well.

The Deal with Dairy

Dairy is some of the most mysterious thrown away stuff - let's see how long it holds up AFTER you open it.

  • Butter: Fridge 1-3 months, Freezer 6-9 months
  • Milk: Fridge 1 week after opening, Freezer 1 month
  • Soft Cheese: Fridge 1 week, Freezer 4-6 months
  • Hard Cheese: Fridge 1 month, Freezer 4-6 months

Making the Most of Meats

Different meats have different shelf lives, so it’s important to keep this in mind before you buy with freezing in mind

  • Raw Ground Meat (chicken, beef and turkey): Fridge 1-2 days, Freezer 2-4 months
  • Steaks: Fridge 4-5 days, Freezer 6 months - 1 year
  • Whole Chicken or Turkey (uncut whole chicken or turkey): Fridge 1-2 days, Freezer up to 1 year
  • Cut Chicken or Turkey Pieces: Fridge 1-2 days, Freezer up to 8 months
  • Fish: Fridge 1-2 days, Freezer 2-6 months
  • Pork: Fridge 1-2 days, Freezer 2-6 months

Making Produce Pull Its Weight


  • Bananas: Fridge 1 week if they're ripe, Freezer 2 months
  • Lemons: Fridge 2-3 months, Freezer 3-6 months
  • Onions: Fridge 3 months, Freezer 6-12 months
  • Carrots: Fridge 4-6 weeks, Freezer 6-12 months

Frozen Foods Don't Last Forever

It's important to note that while frozen foods do keep a long time, that doesn't mean the taste keeps! Here are a few great tips to ensure that your freezer stuff lasts:

Let it Cool: If you want to preserve the taste, texture and aroma of cooked foods, let it cool before you freeze it.

Freezer Use Only: Putting your grandmother's prized pasta sauce in a sandwich bag and hoping for the best is probably not the best idea... stick with containers and bags made for freezer use to protect your food from your freezer's icy environs.

Don't Pack It In: If you want to get the most out of your freezer food, don't pack it so close together. Give everything room to breathe!

When in doubt, give it the toss. Sometimes it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to food – and when it comes to leftovers you’ll usually want to either eat them or throw them away within 3 to 4 days. If you’re not sure about something that isn’t listed here, check out our favorite freshness site StillTasty.

While we can’t keep your food forever fresh in your fridge, we can help you find a fresh new home! Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you.

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