Shelf Life

Shelf Life of Foods – How Long Does Something Last?

Food is the most crucial thing that all living organisms need to stay healthy and alive. We cannot even imagine living without having food. However, every single food item has a limited life span, and after that, it would spoil.

Eating a healthy diet increases the quality of your lifestyle and your personality as well. But what is healthy? Do eating eggs every day is healthy? Or eating some vegetables is healthy? Well, these are healthy diets, yet they need to be fresh and nutritious so you can get maximum advantage from your diet.

The thing that I want to refer to here is the shelf life of every food item that we are eating today. Whether a tin-packed vegetable or raw fish, everything has a limited expiry date. And you must ever wonder how long does a particular food will last? So that’s why today I am going to share the shelf life of some much consumable items. 

I will discuss the food items and their expected shelf life before they get spoiled and even harm your health.

So let’s get began!

What is a Shelf Life?

You can understand the term shelf life as a time duration when a specific food item stays healthy and fresh under a certain temperature and storing conditions.

So if a food product goes bad, we can say its shelf life is exceeded. And you should know the shelf life of daily consuming food items like milk, meat, bread, vegetables, and other day-to-day consumable food items.

So let’s dive into this informative article and find out what is the shelf life of different food items before they go bad.

How Long Does Cooked Fish Last?

According to How Long Does Last, a cooked fish can stay healthy for three to four days in the fridge. It can only be edible at room temperature for two to three hours. However, if you want to keep cooked fish fresh for a longer time, then you need to freeze it.

How Long Does Milk Last?

In the United States, people buy milk mostly from grocery stores. The grocery store’s milk comes with a pasteurization process. A pasteurization process is a method to kill the bacteria from milk by heating it to a specific temperature.

So if we refer to pasteurized milk, it can last for seven weeks, according to HealthLine

How Long Does a Bread Last?

If you want to keep your bread soft and mold-free, then always store it in a dry place and tightly close the bread packing as well. The shelf life of bread is up to three days at room temp[erature.

You can use it after four days if and only it is mold-free, and there is no bad odor in the bread.

How Long Does Meat Last?

If we talk about red meat, then it can stay fresh up to four days in the fridge, and if you want to store it for a longer time, then you can freeze the meat for up to one year.

Also, cooked meat will stay edible for a maximum of six months in the freezer and three to four days in the fridge.

How to Store Food Items Properly?

If you are storing food items properly, then they can stay fresh for a longer period of time. But you need to know how to store them properly.

Here are some tips that you can follow to store some basic food items.

Use Proper Packing

The very first thing that you need to keep in mind is that proper packing is very necessary to prolong the shelf life of a food item. If you are storing meat, then you need to keep it air-tight in a plastic wrapper. 

Wash to Remove Germs

Germs are the main reason that food goes bad. Bacteria start to spoil the food item once they start to increase their number. So you need to pasteurize a pan as well where you are storing your food like purees, jams, and pickles. If you are storing vegetables and fruits, always wash them and then dry them before keeping them in the refrigerator.

Avoid from Direct Sunlight and Moisture

Direct sunlight can cause molding on some foods like vegetables and bread. Also, you need to keep these foods in a dry place to avoid fungus infection.

Use Salt for Meat or Fish

Salt is a best-preserving agent for a long period of time. You can use salt to prolong the shelf life of meat and seafood. But you need to be cautious that you do not add too much salt on meat or fish, so it becomes too salty to eat.

F.A.Q about Shelf Life

What food has the Longest Shelf Life?

Here is the list of food that has the longest shelf life.

  • Honey: Honey can last for a very long time. Some say it can last for even 2000 years. The reason is that honey is anti-bacterial, and it doesn’t allow bacteria to grow inside it.
  • Oats: According to Utah State University Extension, Oats can last for 30 years.
  • Rice: White rice can stay edible for 30 years.
  • Vinegar: Similar to honey, vinegar is also anti-bacterial and can last for hundreds of years.

What food can last for 100 years?

Honey and vinegar can last for 100 years and even above it. It is because they have anti-bacterial properties.

What is the minimum shelf life?

The minimum shelf life is the duration in which a food item should stay fresh and consumable.


So these are some informative and interesting facts that I really wanted to share with you. And I hope you must have gained some benefit from my article. If you want to know something more about food shelf life, tell me in the comments.

Moreover, don’t forget to share this informative article with your friends and family so they can also get knowledge about food and its shelf life.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

Articles: 15885

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