How long can you keep leftovers in the refrigerator?


Quick Answer

Perishable foods can be stored safely in the refrigerator for different lengths of time depending on the food, and that can be anywhere from one day to two weeks, according to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. Perishables have a longer storage life in the freezer of anywhere from one month to one year.

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Full Answer

Fresh poultry and processed meats, like ground beef or sausage, have the shortest shelf life when refrigerated for only one to two days. Salads such as chicken, tuna or egg salad, red meat, soup, stew, opened packages of lunch meat, pizza, cooked meat or poultry and most leftovers are safe in the refrigerator from three to four or five days. Bacon and opened packages of hotdogs can last for a full week, while unopened hotdogs or luncheon meat should be fine up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

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