Disaster Resources - University of Illinois Extension

Refrigerated Foods: When to Save and When To Throw Out

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Meat, Poultry, and Seafood

Type of Product Food still cold, held at 40° F or above under 2 hours Held above 40° F
for over 2 hours
Fresh or leftover meat, poultry, fish, seafood Safe Discard
Thawing meat or poultry Safe Discard if warmer than refrigerator temperatures
Meat, tuna, shrimp, chicken, egg salad Safe Discard
Gravy, stuffing Safe Discard
Lunch meats, hot dogs, bacon, sausage, dried beef Safe Discard
Pizza - meat topped Safe Discard
Canned meats (not labeled "Keep Refrigerated") - refrigerated after opening Safe Discard
Canned hams labeled "Keep Refrigerated" Safe Discard
Casseroles, soups, stews Safe Discard

Dairy, Eggs, Cheese

Type of Product Food still cold, held at 40° F or above under 2 hours Held above 40° F for over 2 hours
Milk, cream, sour cream, buttermilk, evaporated milk, yogurt Safe Discard
Butter, margerine Safe Safe
Baby formula - opened Safe Discard
Eggs - fresh, hard cooked in shell Safe Discard
Eggs dishes, custard, puddings Safe Discard
Hard cheeses, processed cheeses (cheddar, Swiss, Parmesan) Safe Safe
Soft cheeses, cottage cheese Safe Discard

Fruits

Type of Product Food still cold, held at 40° F or above under 2 hours Held above 40° F for over 2 hours
Juices - opened Safe Safe
Canned - opened Safe Safe
Fresh fruits, coconut, raisins, dried fruits, candied fruits, dates Safe Safe

Vegetables

Type of Product Food still cold, held at 40° F or above under 2 hours Held above 40° F
for over 2 hours
Cooked, juice - opened Safe Discard after 6 hours
Baked potatoes Safe Discard
Fresh mushrooms, herbs, spices Safe Safe
Garlic - chopped in oil or butter Safe Discard

Pies, Pastries

Type of Product Food still cold, held at 40° F or above under 2 hours Held above 40° F for over 2 hours
Pastries - cream filled Safe Discard
Pies - custard, cheese filled, chiffons Safe Discard
Pies - fruit Safe Safe

Bread, Cakes, Cookies, Pasta

Type of Product Food still cold, held at 40° F or above under 2 hours Held above 40° F for over 2 hours
Bread, rolls, cakes, muffins, quick breads Safe Safe
Refrigerator biscuits, rolls, cookie dough Safe Discard
Cooked pasta, spaghetti Safe Discard
Pasta salads with mayonnaise or vinegar base Safe Discard

Sauces, Spreads, Jams

Type of Product Food still cold, held at 40° F or above under 2 hours Held above 40° F for over 2 hours
Mayonnaise, tartar sauce, horseradish Safe Discard if above 50° F for over 8 hours
Peanut butter Safe Safe
Opened salad dressing, jelly, relish, taco & barbeque sauce, mustard, catsup, olives Safe Safe

 

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service Food News for Consumers.

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