How Long Is Food Good For in the Fridge?

Examining how long food is good for in the fridge by looking at milk, broccoli and eggs to see how long they stay fresh refrigerated.

How Long Is Food Good For in the Fridge?

Knowing how long food is good for in the fridge will help you have confidence and save money. You can plan meals better knowing how long your meat, fruit and veggies are supposed to last.

Everyone always has a little anxiety over whether the milk is ok to drink or are those really old eggs ok to eat. Get the facts and have that feeling of control that you KNOW how long food is safe before it spoils.

You can take the guesswork out of knowing how long is food good for in the fridge by clicking the link for our free pdf that shows a list of Refrigerator Storage Times It lists food storage times for fruits, vegetables, dairy, meats and packaged foods. Stick it on your refrigerator and and you will always have a reference literally right where you need it!

Read on for a the answers to some of the most asked questions about refrigerated food storage life.

How Long Does Milk Last in the Fridge?

Opened carton of milk to illustrate how long it is good for once opened.

How Long Does Milk Last Once Opened?

How Long Does Milk Last After Opening?

When asking how long is food good for in the fridge – milk is on the top of the list. Opened milk will last 1 week in the refrigerator.

How Long is Milk Good Past the Expiration Date?

If the milk has not been opened it will generally last 5 to 7 days past the expiration date.

If it has been opened, it may last from 2 to 3 days past the expiration date.

Always check for a bad odor and discard if it smells sour, funny or “off.”

How how long is food good for in the fridge – eggs?

Carton of eggs to illustrate and discuss how long eggs last in the fridge and how long foods are good for in the fridge.

Fresh Eggs

Fresh eggs from the grocery store refrigerator will last 3 to 5 weeks one you bring them home and put them in your refrigerator.

Buy them before the expiration date, but they will last up to 3 to 5 weeks even if they expire after you buy them.

Be sure to refrigerate as soon as you bring them home from the store.

Boiled Eggs

Boiled eggs that are not shelled will keep for 7 days in the refrigerator. The shell helps protect from bacteria and absorbing refrigerator odors.

Storage Time for Butter in the Fridge

Butter can last for 1 to 3 months in the refrigerator.

How long is food good for in the fridge – Broccoli?

Fresh Broccoli

Whole bunch will last 3 to 7 days. Florets will last 2 to 3 days in an airtight container.

Broccoli that has been in the refrigerator to discuss how long broccoli lasts in the fridge before going bad and how to tell if broccoli is going bad.

Cooked Food in the Fridge: Broccoli

Cooked broccoli will last 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.

Signs to Tell if Broccoli is Going Bad

Broccoli should be dark green, firm stems and florets, and have a light earthy smell. Signs of broccoli going bad are yellow or brown spots, white fuzz or mold.

Slimy stems, mushy to the touch and a bad odor are signs of spoilage and the broccoli should be discarded.

Remember to look, touch and smell and you will know if broccoli has gone bad.

Fruit Storage Time for the Refrigerator

Whole Fruits

Whole Fruit will generally last 3 to 5 days. Some fruits such as apples can last a month.

Store fruits in the lower produce bin in the refrigerator. This keeps them away from the cooling elements and lowers the risk of them freezing.

These crisper drawers usually have adjustments so you can control the humidity. Lower humidity increases the storage life for fruits.

Fruit salad with peeled apples, bananas, red grapes, orange slices, coconut and pecans on a white dessert plate on a straw placemat.
Fruit Salad – Fresh Fruit Blended with Coconut and Pecans

Cut Fruits

Use cut fruits within a day. They have been exposed to air allowing bacteria to start growing so the spoilage time is quicker.

How Long Do Vegetables Last in the Fridge?

Raw Vegetables

Store raw vegetables in the refrigerator crisper drawer. Adjust the humidity to a high level.

Keep raw vegetables away from raw meat to avoid cross contamination with any bacteria that could be on the packaging.

Cooked Food: Vegetables in the Fridge

Store cooked vegetables on a shelf in the in a refrigerator dish or storage bag.

Keep away from raw meats.

Generally use within 5 days.

How Long is Food Good For in the Fridge Without Power?

Generally, food will last for 4 hours without going bad. Be sure to keep the doors of the refrigerator closed to preserve the cold air inside.

If the power stays off longer than 4 hours, you should discard perishable food such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs and leftovers.

Warmer air from the power outage will cause bacteria to start growing. Even though the power comes back on and the refrigerator cools again, the bacteria has started the spoilage process.

Refrigerator Food Storage Guide

Use the guide below to help determine how long foods will stay fresh in the refrigerator before going bad or starting to spoil. They are guidelines that will help you plan when you should use foods at their freshest.

Always look for signs of decay and smells that are off or bad to determine if foods should be discarded.

The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) is also a good resource for current recommendations for food storage and safety.

Fruit in the Fridge

Ripen fruits at room temperature before refrigerating. Very ripe fruit will spoil quicker so use those within a day or two.

Separate any fruit with blemishes or spots so it won’t spoil the other premium fruit. Cut any bad spots off before using.

  • Apples -1 month
  • Apricots – 5 days
  • Avocados – 5 days
  • Bananas – 5 days
  • Melons – 5 days
  • Nectarines – 5 days
  • Peaches – 5 days
  • Pears – 5 days
  • Berries -3 days
  • Cherries – 3 days
  • Citrus Fruit -2 weeks
  • Grapes – 5 days
  • Plums – 5 days
  • Pineapples – 2 days

Veggies in the Fridge

Choose veggies with rich vibrant colors. Be sure they are firm with no limp stems or mushy spots. Some veggies such as tomatoes will ripen on the counter or windowsill. Refrigerate after they have ripened.

Veggies won’t ripen any after they are stored in the refrigerator. The cold temperature will keep foods from decaying as quickly as they would at room temperature.

  • Asparagus – 3 days
  • Beets – 2 weeks
  • Carrots – 2 weeks
  • Parsnips – 2 weeks
  • Radishes – 2 weeks
  • Turnips – 2 weeks
  • Broccoli – 5 days
  • Brussel Sprouts – 5 days
  • Green Onions – 5 days
  • Squash, soft skinned – 5 days
  • Cabbage – 1 week
  • Cauliflower – 1 week
  • Celery – 1 week
  • Cucumber – 1 week
  • Eggplant – 1 week
  • Green Beans – 1 week
  • Peppers – 1 week
  • Tomatoes – 1 week
  • Corn – 1 day
  • Lettuce – 5 days
  • Spinach – 5 days
  • Leafy Greens – 5 days
  • Lima Beans – 5 days
  • Peas – 5 days

Dairy in the Fridge

Choose products that have the longest expiration date when purchasing. Use dairy that is close to the expiration date as soon as possible for the freshest flavor.

Look for signs of spoilage: separation, yellowing, or mold. Dairy that smells bad or has an “off smell” should be discarded.

  • Butter -2 weeks
  • Buttermilk -2 weeks
  • Sour Cream – 2 weeks
  • Yogurt -2 weeks
  • Margarine – 1 month
  • Milk, whole or skim – 1 week


  • Eggs, in shell – 1 month
  • Eggs whites. yolks – 4 days


  • Cottage – 5 days
  • Ricotta – 5 days
  • Cream Cheese – 2 weeks
  • Neufchatel – 2 weeks
  • Sliced Cheese – 2 weeks
  • Whole Pieces – 2 months
  • Cream – 1 week

Fresh Food: Meat Raw in the Fridge

Choose meats that have vibrant colors and a fresh moist appearance. Avoid meat that has a funny appearance or looks old or dried out.

  • Beef, Lamb, Pork, Veal Chops, Steaks – 5 days
  • Roasts -5 days ground
  • Stew meat – 2 days
  • Sausage, fresh – 2 days
  • Variety Meats – 2 days
  • Bacon, Frankfurters -1 week
  • Ham Canned (unopened) – 6 months
  • Ham Slices – 3 days
  • Ham Whole – 1 week
  • Luncheon Meats – 5 days
  • Sausage, dry, semi-dry – 3 weeks
  • Fish, Shellfish (all kinds) – 1 day
  • Poultry (all kinds), fresh, thawed frozen – 2 days

Leftovers Cooked or Canned Foods

  • Broths, Gravy, Soup – 2 days
  • Casseroles, Stews – 3 days
  • Fruit, Vegetables – 3 days
  • Juices, Drinks – 6 days
  • Meat, Fish, Poultry – 2 days
  • Stuffing – 2 days

Cakes, Pies

  • Cream – 2 days
  • Custard – 2 days

Other Refrigerated Foods

  • Coffee, ground – 1 week
  • Flour: rye, whole-wheat – 1 year
  • Nuts (shelled) – 6 months
  • Pickles, Olives – 1 month
  • Refrigerated biscuits, cookies, rolls. various salad dressings – 3 months


  • Potato – 2 days
  • Coleslaw – 2 days


  • Wine, table – 3 days
  • Wine, cooking – 3 months


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Always look, smell and touch to get a real time feel for whether food has spoiled.

Properly refrigerated food will rarely spoil if you go by the estimated times in our chart or by the USDA recommendations.

You can have confidence and know how long food is good for in the fridge!

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