As technology has advanced, human race has evolved and come up with new and improved ideas of storing food without compromising the taste. However, this is only for a limited time, as every food has a certain shelf life. The shelf life of frozen foods differs depending on the type of food. Every type of frozen food that is sold commercially is marked with an expiry date; no one can legally sell any food that has bypassed its expiry date. Here is a list of foods and their expected shelf lives.

Meat And Poultry

The shelf life of frozen meat depends on the type of meat under discussion. Ground meat generally has a shelf life of approximately 4 months. Processed meat, sausages, ham and bacon have a shelf life of about 1 or 2 months. Whereas unprocessed meat has a longer shelf life of about 4 to 12 months. Poultry generally has a long shelf life as well; cooked and processed poultry can be store for 2 to 4 months, whole poultry can be stored for 12 months and certain parts for example chest or leg can be stored for 9 months approximately.

Fish And Shellfish

Frozen food such as raw fish of certain kinds including cod has a long shelf life of approximately 6 months whereas fattier fish such as salmon has a shorter shelf life of about 3 months. Cooked fish which is frozen has a shelf life of about 4 months. Oysters, shellfish and clams generally have a shelf life of 10 days.

Dairy Products

One of the most commonly consumed frozen foods includes dairy products such as cheese, cream, ice cream and butter. Butter generally has a long shelf life of about a year which is almost the same as margarine. Cream and butter have short shelf life and have to be consumed within two months of freezing. Ice cream also has the same shelf life as cream and butter. Milk on the other hand has the shortest shelf life amongst all dairy products and has to be consumed within a month of storing.

Baked Foods

Baked foods including bread, pies and cakes can also be frozen and sold commercially. Bread generally has a short shelf life of 1 month. Light pies such as pumpkin pies have a shelf life of one month whereas, heavier pies and cakes have a longer shelf life of approximately six months. Fruit cakes have the longest shelf life amongst baked foods and can be stored for almost a year.

Fruits, Vegetable And Nuts

Fruits, vegetable and nuts are also available frozen. Out of the three, nuts generally have the longest shelf life of about two years! Fruits have a long shelf life as well; they still taste good up to 6 months after initially freezing. However, certain types of fruits have a longer shelf life including melon. Vegetables can also be easily frozen and stored; they generally have a shelf life of about 8 months. However, green salad and green onions are some vegetables that cannot be frozen.


The expiry date on any frozen food is just for precaution; generally consuming frozen food after it has crossed its expiry date is not harmful. The taste and texture may be affected and the food might lose some of its nutrients. So if you consume an expired frozen food by mistake, don’t worry!


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