Uncooked meat should be refrigerated in the store's packaging at 36 deg. to 40 deg. for short-term storage; the length of time it will remain fresh depends upon the type of meat as well as the storage temperature and the state of freshness when purchased. Refrigerate meat in the store's plastic-wrapped package, unless the wrapping is torn. If the wrapping is damaged, or if the meat was wrapped in wrapping paper, rewrap the meat in plastic wrap or foil.
For longer storage, meat should be frozen at 0 deg. or below. Prepackaged meat should be overwrapped or rewrapped to prevent freezer burn (drying of the surface that causes meat to discolor). Package the meat in freezer wrap, freezer bags, or plastic wrap for the freezer, and wrap tightly, eliminating all air if possible. Remember to label the packages with the contents and date.Beef Cuts
Roasts, steaks Refrigerator 3 to 5 days Freezer 6 to 12 months
Cooked beef Refrigerator 3 to 4 days Freezer 2 to 3 monthsVeal Cuts
Roasts Refrigerator 1 to 2 days Freezer 4 to 8 months
Steaks, chops, cutlets, ground veal Refrigerator 1 to 2 days Freezer 3 to 4 monthsLamb Cuts
Roasts, chops Refrigerator 3 to 5 days Freezer 6 to 9 months
Ground lamb, stew meat Refrigerator 1 to 2 days Freezer 3 to 4 months
Cooked lamb Refrigerator 3 to 4 days Freezer 2 to 3 monthsPork Cuts
Roasts Refrigerator 3 to 5 days Freezer 4 to 8 months
Chops Refrigerator 3 to 5 days Freezer 3 to 4 months
Sausage Refrigerator 1 to 2 days Freezer 1 to 2 months
Bacon Refrigerator 7 days* Freezer 1 month
Ham (half) Refrigerator 3 to 5 days Freezer 1 to 2 months
Cooked pork Refrigerator 3 to 4 days Freezer 2 to 3 months
*Once a vacuum-sealed package is opened. Unopened vacuum-sealed packages can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.