How Long Can You Leave Meats in the Refrigerator?

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

Fox news has more here

photo:  getty images

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