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Safe food storage – avoiding food poisoning

Nutrition Education and Wellness Service

Safe food storage – avoiding food poisoning

With all the parties and cooking this time of year, it’s important to keep ourselves, our loved ones and friends safe from foodborne illness. Keep these rules in mind:

  • Leftovers should be eaten in 3 to 4 days. In the freezer, leftovers can last up to 3 weeks. 
  • Lunch meat lasts 3 to 5 days after being opened. Unopened, you can keep it up to 2 weeks.
  • Vegetables vary by type, but generally should be eaten within 7 days.
  • Raw poultry and ground meat should be eaten or frozen in 1 or 2 days.
  • Gravy lasts only 1 or 2 days.
  • Baking soda, rice, and sugar remain fresh for up to a year.
  • Flour stays fresh for 1 to 3 months, but when kept in an air-tight container, will last for up to 6 months.
  • If you freeze it for 2 weeks first, meal moth larvae won’t grow as easily and putting bay leaves in containers may help.
  • Oils stay fresh for 1 to 3 months after opening, but can be stored, sealed, for 6 months. Many oils stay better in the refrigerator.
  • Ice cream lasts 2 to 4 months.
  • Frozen raw poultry or pork lasts up to 12 months.
  • Frozen raw beef, when ground, lasts 3 to 4 months. Whole steaks can be stored for up to a year.
  • Frozen fruits and veggies can be stored up to a year.

Stay safe and enjoy!

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