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Storing Food in the Refrigerator

Dairy

Storage recommendations are for 37 degrees Fahrenheit

Butter

  • Wrap or cover tightly
    1 to 2 weeks

Buttermilk

  • Cover tightly
  • Flavor not affected if buttermilk separates; remix before serving
    3 to 5 days

Cottage, ricotta cheese

  • Keep tightly packaged in moisture-resistant wrap
    5 days

Cheddar, edam, gouda, Swiss, brick cheese (Hard and wax-coated in large pieces)

  • Keep tightly packaged in moisture-resistant wrap
  • If outside of cheese gets slightly moldy, just cut away cheese one-half inch beneath and beside the mold — it won't affect flavor
  • If cheese is covered with heavy mold, discard entire block
  • Unopened
    1 to 2 months
  • Opened
    3 to 4 weeks
  • Sliced
    2 weeks

Cream, light, heavy, half-and-half

  • Cover tightly
  • To prevent spoilage, don't return unused cream to original container
    3 days

Cream cheese, neufchatel cheese

  • Keep tightly packaged in moisture-resistant wrap
    2 weeks

Coffee lightener, liquid

  • Cover tightly
  • Don't return unused portion to original container
    3 weeks

Dips

  • Keep tightly covered
  • Commercial
    2 weeks
  • Homemade
    2 days

Egg whites

  • Store in covered container
  • For longer storage, see freezer storage chart
    3 days

Egg yolks

  • Cover yolks with water
  • Store in covered container
  • For longer storage, see freezer storage chart
    3 days

Eggs

  • Store covered
  • Keep small end down to center yolks
    2 to 3 weeks

Margarine

  • Wrap or cover tightly
    4 to 6 months

Milk, evaporated

  • Keep covered
  • Opened
    4 to 5 days

Milk, homogenized, reconstituted dry nonfat, skimed

  • Keep containers tightly closed
  • To prevent spoilage, don't return unused milk to original container
    5 days

Milk, sweetened, condensed

  • Keep covered
  • Opened
    4 to 5 days

Parmesan, romano, grated cheese

  • Keep tightly packaged in moisture-resistant wrap
  • Refrigerate after opening
  • See cupboard storage chart
  • Opened
    2 month

Process cheese and cheese food

  • Keep tightly packaged in moisture-resistant wrap
  • Refrigerate slices, loaves and jars after opened
  • Most squeeze packages and aerosol cans don't need refrigeration, but check label
  • Opened
    3 to 4 weeks

Sour cream

  • Keep covered
    2 weeks

Whipped topping bought frozen and thawed

  • Keep covered
    2 weeks

Whipped topping in aerosol can

  • 3 months

Whipped topping prepared from mix

  • Keep covered
    3 days

Yogurt

  • Keep covered
    7 to 10 days

MP558, reviewed September 2002

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