Timelines for Different Types of Meats
Although meat can technically be kept forever if it’s frozen, for quality’s sake, here are guidelines for an ideal timeline for individual meat types. Please note that processed meats do not keep as long as their less-processed counterparts.
It is also important to be wary of food-borne illnesses like salmonella, E. coli, listeria, and parasites that can be lurking within the flesh. Make sure to pay extra attention to freezing, thawing, handling, and cooking your meat correctly.
- Bacon: 1 month
- Hot dogs, deli meats, and sausages: 1-2 months
- Hamburger meat: 3-4 months
Whole Cuts (Beef, Lamb, Veal, & Pork)
- Steaks: 6-12 months
- Chops: 4-6 months
- Roasts: 4-12 months
- Whole chicken and turkey: 1 year
- Chicken and turkey pieces: 9 months
- All cooked meat can be frozen for 2-6 months
- An exception is chicken nuggets or patties, which last for 1-3 months