- Keep all ready-to-eat foods visible and in your line of sight.
- Use clear airtight containers to store your leftovers.
- Stack upwards rather than pushing items backwards.
- Store ready to eat foods above raw foods.
Try not to
- Overpack your fridge. Your fridge has to work harder to keep your food cold and it’s easy to lose track of what you already have.
- Store potatoes, onions or tomatoes somewhere cool and dry, away from direct sunlight.
- Put ripened fruit in the fridge, store in airtight containers away from your vegies so they don’t shorten the lifespan of your crisper items
- Freeze excess foods (such as bread, cakes and cheeses) or liquids (such as pasta sauce and stock).
- Label the date you freeze your leftovers and consume within 3 months for best condition, refer to the Shelf Life Tips sheet for more detailed information.
- Store in airtight containers or thick freezer bags to prevent dehydration and freezer burn.
- Freeze foods in the amounts you'll defrost and serve them in.
Try not to
- Overpack your freezer
- Put hot foods directly into your freezer. Cool foods in your fridge first, then transfer to the freezer.
- Eat foods which may have defrosted and refrozen in your freezer - this is a serious food safety hazard.
- Store dry goods in clear, airtight containers
- Know the difference between 'best before' and 'use by' dates. While foods shouldn't be consumed after a 'use by' date, a 'best before' date is simply an indication of when a food is at its best. Many dried and packaged goods are still fine to eat after this time. The only items you can't eat after their best before date are eggs.
Try not to
- Store opened goods in their original packaging where they might be susceptible to weevils. Otherwise, ensure you seal the packaging to keep it airtight.
Shelf life tips
Knowing how long food stays fresh is a great way to reduce your household food waste.
Remember to always check the ‘best before’ or ‘use-by’ date before deciding what to do with your food. Foods with a ‘use-by’ date should not be eaten after that date has passed. A ‘best before’ date is simply an indication of when a food is at its best and foods can still be consumed after this date.
|Bread||7 days||3 months||4 – 6 days|
|Milk||7 – 10 days||3 months|
|Fruit||7 days||3 months||1 week|
|Vegetables||7 days||12 months|
|Potatoes & onions||3 months||No||1 – 2 weeks|
|Fresh herbs||6 days|
|Beef||2 days||8 months|
|Chicken||2 days||9 months|
|Pork||2 days||6 months|
|Lamb||2 days||12 months|
|Fish & seafood||2 – 3 days||3-6 months|
|Deli meat||4 days|
|Eggs||1 month||1 year with prep*|
|Cheeses||14 days||6 months|
|Butter||3 months||9 months|
|Cooked rice||2 days||3 weeks|
|Cooked pasta||3 days|
* Remove shell before freezing. Beat just until blended, pour into freezer containers, seal tightly, label with the number of eggs and the date, and freeze.
Fruit and vegetable smart storage guide
Reduce waste by getting your food storage right. Follow this guide to keep your fruit and vegetables fresh and tasty. Remember don’t wash your produce until just before you use it.
Fruit and vegetable smart storage guide (PDF, 270.96KB)
Fruit and vegetable smart storage guide (DOCX, 435.64KB)