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Volume III
July 27, 2012

Weekly Home / Cook'n & Eat'n

Storage Food Guide for: Dairy and Eggs

By Patty Liston

We have been warned that due to the severe drought happening in the mid-west, food prices are going to escalate. Knowing how to safely store the food we purchase and plan our menu's around their maximum freshness dates, will help us all avoid buying more than we need and the very real likelihood of having to throw spoiled food away.

Over the last few weeks, we have covered the safe storage and shelf life of meat, poultry, fruits and vegetables as found in an article in Real Simple magazine. Today, we will discuss the safe keeping of eggs and dairy. As I suggested previously, print out this information and place it inside your cupboard for a handy reference guide.

Useful Information:

Milk and yogurt can be frozen. Just put them in freezer containers or freezer proof glass jars. Leave 1 inch of space from the top to make it easy for you to stir and remix, once thawed.

The most important date on your food is the one right after the words "use by" or "best if used by". According to Elizabeth Passarella, an item will be freshest and tastiest of consumed by the dates listed. However, they will probably still be safe a few days after. A "sell by" date is meant for the store as it alerts a retailer when to pull an item from the shelves. When you buy packaged food check to make sure the "sell-by" date hasn't passed, then use the recommended storage times as listed in the following information.

Storage of Dairy and Eggs

Buttermilk: 2 weeks frig. Do not freeze
Butter spreads and diary spreads: 3 months frig. Do not freeze
Butter, sticks: 3 months frig
6 months freezer


Cheese, hard (Parmesan and pecorino)
Block: 4 months frig
6 months freezer
Grated: 1 month frig
4 months freezer

Cheese, semi-hard (cheddar, gouda, Swiss)
Once opened, wrap semi-hard cheese in wax or parchment paper, and then place the cheese in a resealable plastic bag. If you are going to freeze this cheese, wrap it in well in plastic wrap.

Block, packaged: 6 months frig unopened; 1 month opened
6 months freezer
Deli slices: 1 week frig. Do not freeze
Packaged slices: 1 month frig (unopened); 1 week opened
Do not freeze

Cheese, soft (goat cheese and Brie)
Place these cheeses in an airtight container once opened.
2 weeks unopened; 1 week open
Do not freeze
Fresh mozzarella will keep for about 3 days

Cottage Cheese
1 week frig
Do not freeze

10 days frig (light cream); 1 month heavy and whipping cream
Do not freeze

Cream Cheese
2 months in frig (unopened); 2 weeks opened
Do not freeze

Egg substitute
10 days unopened; 3 days opened
Do not freeze

Eggs, unshelled
5 weeks in frig
Do not freeze whole eggs; egg whites will keep for up to 6 months

4 days in frig
Do not freeze

1 week in frig
3 months in freezer

1 week in frig
Do not freeze

Sour cream
3 weeks in frig
Do not freeze

Soy milk
1 week in frig
Do not freeze

3 weeks unopened; 1 week open (keep covered in water
5 months in freezer (freezing will make it dense and chewy, but fine for cooking)

Whipped cream, canned
1 month frig
Do not freeze

Whipped topping, nondairy
3 months (can); 2 weeks (tub)
6 months freezer if in tub

2 weeks in frig
2 months in freezer

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