How Long Will Food Last in the Fridge | Leave or Throw Away?

We live in a time in which food and food, in general, are very wasted. But what is positive, people are starting to realize it. One factor influencing them in this respect seems to be the constant rise in food prices. On the other hand, however, it is necessary to know the food and store the cooked food well.

I’m sure you’ve already had your food prepared, not to eat whole. A genuine and frequent case is an under-run lunch in the home. What have you done with him? You put the rest of your food in the refrigerator for later. Suddenly, they can pass two-three days, and then under-delivered food is still in the same place. That’s when you think of the question, is it still fresh, edible? What about the other foods stored here? Now you will learn how to prevent food spoilage in the fridge, how much each food will last fresh, and tips to help you prevent food waste.

Foods that get used to spoiling most often include:

  • Fruits and vegetables.
  • Fresh meat.
  • Foods purchased in cooling boxes.
  • Freshly cooked food stored for later consumption.

Some fresh fruit and vegetables last long enough if stored in a freezing place, but others do not tolerate cold well. Therefore, they are usually held in a refrigerator. Which are they, you will find out below.

Cooling can significantly reduce the rate at which food spoils. This is because low temperatures slow down the growth of microorganisms and the rate of chemical (including enzymatic) changes in food. These are two of the leading causes of food degradation.


Basic rules for storing food in the refrigerator

Basic rules for storing food in the refrigerator


Store individual food in airtight containers or zippered bags. Remove as much air as possible before storage. Use as many containers as possible to minimize air around the food.

Store food thoroughly in the fridge


Early cooling

Harmful bacteria multiply at room temperature, so the faster you can cool your food, the better. It is also possible to place hot food leftovers in the refrigerator but not put them next to milk or meat. Instead, leave them loose until they cool down, then close them thoroughly in a container.

Let the cooked food cool down.


Expiration date

Do not confuse the production date and expiration date indicated on the products. The first shows when the product was manufactured or when the seller offers it for sale. The second date will tell you when the product is suitable for consumption. After the expiration date, he should no longer sell in the store.

This is how you can tell the production date and expiration date.


Location in the refrigerator

Store milk, meat, and food residues in the more excellent areas of the refrigerator (not in the door) to extend their shelf life. Eggs should be stored in their original packaging on a shelf.

The eggs in the original packaging belong on the shelf.


Location of the refrigerator

It would help if you did not place the refrigerator in the room too close to walls or furniture. The air needs space to circulate so that the appliance can operate efficiently. The instructions manual shows the desired distances. Also, avoid placing the refrigerator in scorching places, such as an oven or dryer.

Do not place the fridge next to other appliances.


Advice for efficient cooling of food in the fridge

  • Check the correct temperature in the refrigerator with a thermometer; it should show a temperature below five °C in the central part of the refrigerator.
  • Keep the refrigerator door open as short as possible.
  • Defrost the refrigerator regularly (not applicable to automatic defrosting models).
  • Check the door seals regularly.
  • Continuously dispose of spoiled food; a more relaxed place in the refrigerator will not stop its degradation.
  • Cover all cooked food and, if possible, store it on a shelf over uncooked food.
  • Foods with a strong smell, such as seafood and some cheeses, should be packed and should not be stored for a long time near foods such as milk and cream that are prone to damage.
  • Avoid hoarding stored products in the refrigerator, ensuring good air circulation around each item. Proper storage keeps your food in good condition and protects against the growth of bacteria causing food poisoning, and saves you time and money by reducing waste.

Don’t forget! Different parts of your refrigerator will otherwise work at different temperatures. For example, the top shelves will often be a little cooler in older refrigerators than the bottom shelves.

Leave plenty of space in the fridge for food.

TIP: If you are thinking about buying a new fridge, our test will help you find out which fridge with a freezer is among the best.

this table shows the lifespan of some chilled foods in the coldest part of the refrigerator:

Seafood 3 days
meat 3-5 days
minced meat and offal 2-3 days
charcuterie 2-3 weeks
poultry 3 days
fruit juices 7-14 days
milk 5-7 days
cream 5 days
cheese 1-3 months
soft cheeses (camembert, brie) 2-3 weeks
cottage, ricotta, and cream cheeses 10 days
egg 3-6 weeks
butter 8 weeks
margarine 6 months
Oil and fat 6 months


Tips on how to shop effectively to avoid spoiling food

  • Suppose you plan to store food for longer; bet on quality. Avoid stock products in this case that are not a guarantee of quality and may have a reduced service life. Eventually, it ends up wasting money and throwing away spoiled food.
  • Fresh and canned meat, fish, dairy products, and ready meals (such as salads, quiches, stuffed cakes, and other ready meals) should only be purchased from a chilled box. Avoid stores that offer these products at room temperature. Hard, dry cheeses (such as parmesan) and some salamis can be stored without cooling in a cold environment. However, if you are not familiar with these traditional products, cooling is recommended.
  • Do not buy inflated packs of chilled food. Chilled juices, unprocessed cheeses, yogurts, and fresh pasta may contain harmful microbes (which got there when packaged). His usually means that the products have been stored at higher temperatures or close to the end of their consumption.
  •  Such inflated packaging is a sign that microbes have begun to grow and produce gas. If you want to buy chilled products packed in transparent foils, pay great attention to mold. Some forms can grow even at cool temperatures.
  • When you go shopping, take a thermoclick with you and always buy chilled food at the end of the purchase. If you don’t have such a bag with you, make sure that the chilled products are wrapped in several layers of paper to minimize the temperature increase on the way home. Never leave refrigerated food in the car longer than necessary.
  • As soon as you get home, read the storage instructions on packaged foods. Then, if necessary, store the product in the refrigerator. Every minute of your meal spent at higher temperatures shortens its lifespan.
  • Carefully select your dealer. If you suspect that food is not being treated as it should, shop elsewhere. You can also notify the seller and, if necessary, the manufacturer.


How to store individual types of food

How to store individual types of food

Dairy products

Fresh milk, cream, and some soft cheeses have only a short shelf life and quickly lose quality when exposed to higher temperatures during storage. Dairy products tend to “smell” from other foods, so keep them always wrapped or covered and away from intensely smelly foods. Hard cheeses have a long lifespan, but acceptable surface forms of mold can develop. If this happens, remove the most snake and cut off approximately 2 cm of cheese. Salt-reduced cheeses may have a shorter shelf life than conventional cheeses.

Fresh dairy products should be consumed as soon as possible.



Eggs, unlike what many people believe, should be stored in a refrigerator. This preserves the quality of the eggs and significantly increases the storage period. It is best to keep them in cartons to reduce the loss of moisture through the shell. The storage temperatures very precisely determine the storage time during distribution. Most stores do not store eggs in the refrigerator, and depending on how long the eggs are stored at room temperature, the potential storage time will be affected.

Eggs also belong in the fridge.


Raw meat, poultry, and seafood

The word ‘meat’ includes beef, lamb, pork, etc. These items should be stored in the coldest part of your refrigerator. Packaged fresh meat can be safely stored for up to three days, and unpacked fresh meat within five days at low temperatures, 0 ° to 3 °C. The packaged meat remains moist and retains the quality, but on the surface promotes the growth of microorganisms, and after about three days, the core remains slimy. If you notice a smell, it is best to throw it away.

Even meat or seafood needs to be stored well.

Unpackaged meat lasts longer than packaged meat. When the heart is stored unpackaged, the surface is de-fried. This drying slows down microbial growth, but excessive drying causes unwanted changes in color and loss of taste. A compromise can be achieved by storing meat in a sufficiently ventilated container or loosening the meat’s packaging so that air can circulate. The chilled chicken is a good seal that has been broken thoroughly washed, dry with a paper towel, and then stored as indicated. Fresh whole fish should be cut out and cleaned if they are to be held for more than 24 hours.


Meat for animals should not come into direct contact with heart intended for human consumption since it could have been produced under less hygienic conditions. It should be well packed and stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator.


Cooked meat, poultry, and seafood

Meat, poultry, and seafood must be frozen as soon as possible after cooking. However, overcooling is preferred to avoid excessive condensation in the refrigerator, a short cooling time (no more than one hour)oling. To prevent condensation:

  1. Do not cover hot pieces of meat before cooling.
  2. Place them uncovered in the refrigerator until they cool down, then cover the container or wrap the heart with a tight container.
  3. Keep cooked products in a fridge over any raw meat, poultry, or seafood to avoid cross-contamination with raw meat liquid or drip, as this may also happen.

However, if the top shelves of the refrigerator are the coldest, fresh meat, which spoils quickly, it should be stored there.

Do not put hot food in the fridge right away.



Most meat treats, such as ham, salami, bacon, and other meat goodies, must be stored in the refrigerator. They should be processed as fresh meat, but they should not come into contact with it. Pâtés belong to this group. Beware of meat products that you buy at the counter as an unrestricted sale. The product’s packaging may be damaged somehow, and very quickly, the product is destroyed during storage in the refrigerator, in case you do not notice.

Who wouldn’t like these meat delicacies


Fresh fruit and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables should be handled with care to avoid bruising and damage to their surface. Such damage will subsequently promote rotting. Most fresh products are temperature sensitive and should be stored in the coldest part of the house if there is no cooling space. Some products, especially those from tropical areas such as pineapple and bananas, are sensitive to cold and should not be stored in a refrigerator.

On the contrary, some fruits or vegetables do not benefit from the cold.

If you remove the leaves from carrots, parsley, or beetroot, you can extend their life in the refrigerator for several weeks or even several months. Keep potatoes in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place to prevent germination. Remove them from plastic bags and place them in a thick paper bag, box, or plastic container. Sweet potatoes are sensitive to cold and should not be stored in a refrigerator.

Tomatoes should ripen at room temperature, away from direct sunlight. The best ripen at slightly warmer temperatures. They can be stored in the refrigerator for several days when entirely ripe, especially in hot weather. But then they gradually lose their appetite.

See a comparison of how long food can withstand fresh food in a dark, cool room and the fridge.

tomatoes 3-5 days 2-7 days
potatoes 1-2 months 1-2 weeks
Carrots, parsley 1 week 2-3 weeks
pepper 5 days 5-7 days
cabbage, kale 2 weeks 2-3 weeks
apples 3 weeks 3-6 weeks
spinach 2-3 days 3-5 days
bananas While they do not ripe 5 days
grapes 1 day 1 week
oranges 10 days 3 weeks
strawberries, raspberries 1 day 2-3 days
plums, apricots 2 days 3-5 days
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