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How long can you keep meat in the freezer?

How long can you keep meat in the freezer?
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It is a recurring question in many homes: is the food still good after how many days, weeks or months in the freezer? What about the ice on the packaging, does it make the food inedible? Meat in particular stresses many people! And when in doubt, many of us turn to the compost bin or the garbage...

Yet many of the foods that end up in the compost or landfill are still edible. But how do you know?

If you are undecided on this question, take the time to take a look at the list of storage times recommended by Health Canada.

Before freezing your meat, we strongly suggest that you wrap it and write the freezing date on it. So next time you want to prepare one of the meats lying dormant in the freezer it will be much easier.

Good to know: some meats can sleep in the freezer for over a year!

Here are the deadlines to respect for each type of meat and other proteins. 

Chicken / Turkey:

Whole raw poultry: 10-12 months

Raw chopped poultry: 6-9 months

Cooked poultry without sauce: 1-3 months

Cooked poultry with sauce: 6 months


Other meats:

Beef (steaks, roasts): 6-12 months

Pork: 8-12 months

Minced, cubed or thinly sliced meat: 3-4 months

Lamb: 8-12 months according to Health Canada

Calf: 8-12 months according to Health Canada

Bacon: 1-2 months

Cretons: 1-2 months

Cooked ham: 1-2 months

Smoked meat/cold cuts: 1-2 months

Fresh sausages: 2-3 months

Hot dog sausages: 1-2 months

Whole dry sausages: do not freeze

Meat spaghetti sauces: 4-6 months

Meat cooked with sauce: 4 months

Meat cooked without sauce: 2-3 months

Cooked meat sliced under vacuum: 1 month

Offal (liver, heart, etc.): 3-4 months



Raw egg white: 9 months

Raw egg yolk: 4 months

Whole with the shell: does not freeze.


Fish and seafood:

Cooked crab: 1 month

Shrimps: 2-4 months

Fatty fish (salmon, trout, etc.): 2 months

Lean fish (sole, tilapia, etc.): 6 months

Scallops: 3 months

Oysters without shells: 2-4 months

Mussels without shells: 3 months

Scaleless clams: 3 months

Cold smoked fish: 2 months

Oysters/mussels/clams: do not freeze! It is recommended to store them in a aired container.



1-2 month


How long do you usually keep things in the freezer? Do you follow any rules in particular? 

Source: HuffPost · Photo Credit: Adobe Stock

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