If freezing meat and poultry in its original package longer than 2 months, over wrap these packages with airtight heavy-duty aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or freezer paper, or place the package inside a plastic storage bag.

Because freezing 0° F (-18° C) keeps food safe indefinitely, the following recommended storage times are for quality only.


Raw Hamburger, Ground & Stew Meat  
Hamburger & Stew Meat 3 to 4 months
Ground turkey, veal, pork, lamb 3 to 4 months
Soups & Stews  
Vegetable or meat-added & mixtures of them 2 to 3 months
Bacon & Sausage  
Bacon 1 month
Sausage, raw from pork, beef, chicken or turkey 1 to 2 months
Smoked breakfast links, patties 1 to 2 months
Fresh Meat (Beef, Veal, Lamb, & Pork)  
Steak 6 to 12 months
Chops 4 to 6 months
Roasts 4 to 12 months
Meat Leftovers  
Cooked meat and meat dishes 2 to 3 months
Gravy and meat broth 2 to 3 months
Fresh Poultry  
Chicken or turkey, whole 1 year
Chicken or turkey, parts 9 months
Cooked Poultry, Leftover  
Cooked poultry dishes 4 to 6 months
Pieces, plain 4 months
Pieces covered with broth, gravy 6 months
Fish & Shellfish  
Lean fish 6 months
Cooked fish 4 to 6 months
Smoked fish 2 months
Fresh shrimp, scallops, crawfish, squid 3 to 6 months

The information provided came from the FDA’s website.  For the full listing of all foods visit: https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/ResourcesForYou/HealthEducators/UCM109315.pdf