We’ve all been there. You open the fridge and search for something. When you find it you assume it’s still good. Once you open it, that food you wanted looks more like a science experiment gone wrong. Sometimes it can be tough to judge the shelf life of all the different types of food calling your fridge home.

When it comes to food storage, you first have to make sure you have your fridge at the right temperature. It’s recommended you keep the fridge at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. If that’s not the case then any food storage tips you get are pointless.

Once the fridge is chilled to perfection, you can start thinking about when you need to evict the spoiled food and make room for some fresh tenants. When is the time up for foods in your fridge? Here are some answers so you’re not racing against the clock.

How Long Can I Keep Butter?

food storage

When you buy butter at the grocery store there is a “best by” date stamped on the outside. It’s a good rule of thumb to follow the date. Generally, butter is still good one month past that date. If you’re not a big butter user, you can always stick some in the fridge and take it out when you need it.

How Long Can I Keep Apples?

food storage

Sure, apples grow on trees, but they taste and stay better if you put them in the fridge. Once you have them chilled, they can last for up to six months as long as the temperature is between 30 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It all depends how ripe they were when you first got them. You’ve heard the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor a day”. If you follow this, you won’t have to ever worry about your apples going bad.

How Long Can I Keep Lettuce?

food storage

If you like salads but don’t necessarily eat them daily, then Romaine lettuce may be the better choice since it stays fresher longer. On average, you can keep a head of Romaine lettuce for 7 to 10 days compared with Iceberg lettuce which only stays fresh for a maximum of 5 to 7 days.  Chopped or loose lettuce only lasts for 3 to 5 days. You can keep lettuce fresher longer if you rinse and dry your lettuce before storing it. You can dry lettuce well using a salad spinner.

How Long Can I Keep Carrots?

food storage

Carrots are a great source of vitamins and nutrients so you want to make sure you eat them when they are at their best. For fresh carrots, that means using them within 4 to 5 weeks. If you prefer baby carrots, you can keep them 3 to 4 weeks. If you notice your carrots are getting slimy, it’s time to part ways. Nothing good is going to come from a slimy carrot.

How Long Can I Keep Condiments?

food storage

Not all condiments are created equal. With that said, some stay fresher longer in the fridge. Once they are opened, condiments need to be refrigerated. Some can call the fridge home longer than others. Barbecue sauce is good for about four months after it’s first opened. Jam and jelly are good for one year. Ketchup is freshest within six months. Mustard has about a year’s rent on your fridge shelf.  One of the condiments in there for the long haul is Worchester sauce. That can stay fresh for up to two years.

By far, condiments have the longest shelf life than any other item in your fridge.

When it comes to food storage it’s important to know when things were opened and when they were first put in the fridge. If you can’t remember, label the items so you don’t get stuck or even worse, sick.



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