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FSIS

Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Mail Order Food Safety, Continued

Safe Handling of Mail Order Foods

These short but safe time limits will help keep refrigerated foods from spoiling or becoming unsafe to eat. Because freezing keeps food safe indefinitely, recommended storage times are for quality only.

N/A - not advisable
Safe Handling of Mail Order Foods
Food
Item
Condition Upon Arrival STORAGE
Pantry
STORAGE
Refrigerator 40 °F
STORAGE
Freezer 0°F
Meats
Beef and Lamb; steaks and roasts Frozen or refrigerator cold N/A 3-5 days 1 year
Game Birds Frozen or refrigerator cold N/A 1-2 days 1 year
Pork, chops, and roasts Frozen or refrigerator cold N/A 3-5 days 6 months
Turkey— smoked, cooked Frozen or refrigerator cold N/A 7 days 6 months
Turkey— whole, uncooked Frozen or refrigerator cold N/A 1-2 days 1 year
Ham— country Room temperature 1 year Sliced, 2-3 months 1 month
Ham— whole, fully cooked Frozen or refrigerator cold N/A 7 days 1-2 months
Ham— canned, labeled "Keep Refrigerated" Refrigerator cold N/A 6-9 months unopened;
7 days opened
1-2 months opened
Ham— canned, shelf stable Room temperature 2 years 3-4 days opened 1-2 months opened
Ham— fully cooked, vacuum sealed at plant, undated, unopened Frozen or refrigerator cold N/A 2 weeks 1-2 months
Ham— fully cooked, vacuum sealed at plant, dated, unopened Frozen or refrigerator cold N/A Use by date 1-2 months
Sausage— dry fermented, not labeled "Keep Refrigerated" Room temperature 4 -6 weeks 6 months unopened;
2-3 weeks opened
1-2 months
Sausage— Summer, not labeled "Keep Refrigerated" Room temperature 4-6 weeks 6 months unopened; 2-3 weeks opened 1-2 months
Sausage— Summer, labeled "Keep Refrigerated" Frozen or refrigerator cold N/A 3 months unopened;
3 weeks opened
1-2 months
Frozen entrees— meat or vegetable Frozen N/A 3-4 days after cooking 2-3 months, cook frozen
Seafood
Caviar— non-pasteurized (fresh)
 
Refrigerator cold N/A 6 months unopened;
2 days opened
Do not freeze
Caviar— pasteurized, vacuum package Room temperature Refrigerate upon arrival 1 year unopened Do not freeze
Hors d'Oeuvres / Pastries Frozen or refrigerator cold N/A 3-4 days after cooking 3 months
Lobster— live Alive in sea water N/A 1-2 days, alive Do not freeze
Salmon— smoked, clear vacuum package (e.g., Nova Lox) Frozen or refrigerator cold N/A 7 days unopened;
2 days opened
2 months
Salmon— vacuum packaged, and/or labeled "Keep Refrigerated" Frozen or refrigerator cold N/A 7 days unopened;
2 days opened
2 months
Salmon— smoked, heavy metallic pouch in outer cardboard container, shelf stable Room temperature 1 year unopened 2 days opened N/A
Frozen entrees— seafood Frozen N/A 2 days after thawing 1 year
Cheese Products
Cheese— soft (e.g., cream cheese) Refrigerator cold N/A 2 weeks opened N/A
Cheese— processed or hard Safe at room temperature, but refrigeration prolongs quality N/A 3-6 months unopened;
3-4 months opened;
2 weeks sliced
small pieces
6 months
Cheesecake Frozen or refrigerator cold N/A 7 days 3 months
Fruit Products
Fruit— fresh whole* Refrigerator cold or room temperature *Fruit storage varies by type. After refrigerating, store from 3 days to 3 weeks; prepared for freezing, fruits can be frozen for up to 1 year.
Fruit— dried Room temperature 1 month 6 months after opened N/A
Fruit Cakes / Plum Pudding Cold or room temperature 1 month, quality better if refrigerated or frozen 6 months 1 year
Fruit / Nut Breads Cold or room temperature N/A 7 days 6 months
Other
Frosted cakes, layered tortes, petit fours Frozen or refrigerator cold 2 days 3 days 2 months
Chocolate candy / other confections Cold or room temperature 1 year 1 year 1 year
Jams / Jellies Room temperature 12 months unopened 6 months N/A
Pickles, pickled vegetables Room temperature 1 year 2 months opened N/A
Olives Room temperature 1 year 2 weeks N/A
Oil, olive or vegetable Room temperature 6 months unopened;
3 months opened
N/A N/A
Oils, nut Room temperature 6 months unopened 4 months opened N/A
Vinegar Room temperature 2 years unopened; 1 year opened N/A N/A
Mustard Room temperature 1 year unopened; 1 month opened 1 year opened N/A
Honey Room temperature 1 year N/A N/A
Pure Maple Syrup Room temperature 2 years unopened 1 year opened N/A
Nuts — cans, jars, or cellophane Room temperature 1 year unopened 6 months opened 1 year opened
Tea—
Bags
 
Room temperature 18 months N/A N/A
Tea — Loose Room temperature 2 years N/A N/A
Tea— Instant Room temperature 3 years N/A N/A
Coffee — Whole beans, non-vacuum bag Room temperature 1-3 weeks 2 weeks 3-4 months
Coffee — Ground, in can Room temperature 2 years 2 weeks 3-4 months
Coffee — Instant, jars, & tins Room temperature 1 year unopened; 2-3 months opened 2 weeks 3-4 months
Last Modified Jun 15, 2013