Don't know about you but I've never been one to pay much attention to expiration dates. I figure they are more like "suggestions". Especially when they say "best when used by". I mean come on it's best then. I'd prefer something that says something like "eat before this date or this could kill you".
I found this list of when you really should eat different meats by when they are in your refrigerator. OK I don't mess with chicken. It has a pretty bad rep for food poisoning. Others I let slide a little more. Then there are things like lunch meat, hot dogs and bacon. I figured that stuff could last for a long time...you know like till changes color or something. Again it seems I'm wrong.
Here are the refrigerator meat guide lines.
- Raw Chicken 1-2 days. Cooked chicken a little longer. 2-6 months in the freezer.
- Red Meat & Pork 5 days, 4-12 months in the freezer
- Ground Meat Only 1-2 days, 3-4 Months in the freezer
- Lunchmeat & Hotdogs 2 weeks unopened, 3-5 days after opening, 1-2 months in the freezer
- Raw Sausage 2 days, 1-2 months in the freezer
- Bacon up to 1 week
photo: getty images