Dairy Products & Eggs

  • Dairy Products & Eggs
  • Deli & Fresh Prepared Foods
  • Fresh Fruits & Vegetables
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  • Meat & Poultry
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Dairy Product Storage Chart



1- 3 months

2 to 3 Months

Buttermilk 7- 14 days 1 to 2 months
Cheese, hard 6 months unopened
3-4 weeks opened
6 months
Cheese, soft 1 week 6 months
Cottage cheese, Ricotta 1 week Don't freeze
Cream cheese 2 weeks Don't freeze
Cream, heavy 1 months Don't freeze
whipped, sweetened  1 months 1- 2 months
aerosol can, real whipped cream 3- 4 weeks Don't freeze
aerosol can, non- dairy 3 months Don't freeze
half and half 3- 4 days 4 months
Liquid egg substitutes, Unopened 10 days Don't freeze
Liquid egg substitutes, Opened 3 days Don't freeze
Eggnog, commercial 3- 5 days 6 months
Eggs, shell 2 weeks Don't freeze
raw whites 2- 4 days 12 months
hard cooked 7 days Don't freeze
Margarine 4- 5 months 12 months
Milk 7 days 3 months
Sour cream 7- 21 days Don't freeze
Yogurt 7- 14 days 1- 2 months

Please Note: Storage times are from date of purchase. If products bear a use-by date, observe it. It is not important if a date expires after food is frozen.

Your supermarket maintains rigid quality assurance and sanitation standards to ensure that you always receive fresh, wholesome dairy products. Once you purchase the food though, it's up to you to take care of it. This is important, especially for these perishable foods, because a large number of foodborne illnesses are caused by improper handling of foods in the home.

Milk and Cream Products

Raw milk is pasteurized (heated to at least 161° for at least 15 seconds or equivalent) to destroy harmful bacteria and make it safe to drink.

After pasteurization, it is important for all dairy products to remain under constant refrigeration to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

  • Don't return unused milk or cream to the original container.


  • Refrigerate all cheeses in their original wrapping until opened. After opening, rewrap the cheese tightly in moisture-vapor proof wrap or place in an airtight container.
  • Some varieties of cheese such as blue cheese are mold-ripened and flavored with a harmless mold. If food spoilage mold is visible on solid cheese, trim it off with a 1/2-inch piece around it. Discard soft cheeses - such as cottage cheese, ricotta or cream cheese - when mold is visible.
  • Some cheeses have the most flavor when served at room temperature. However, do not leave soft cheeses out of the refrigerator longer than two hours.
  • Hard natural cheeses can be frozen shredded or in blocks tightly wrapped in plastic. Thaw cheese in the refrigerator and use within a few days.

Eggs and Egg Substitutes

  • Choose refrigerated Grade AA or A eggs and make sure no eggs are cracked or dirty.
  • Keep eggs refrigerated at 40° F or slightly below.
  • Do not wash eggs before storing. Eggs are washed during commercial processing and a protective mineral oil coating is put on.
  • Store eggs in the original carton on the refrigerator shelf, not in the door where it's warmer.
  • Avoid eating foods containing raw eggs, such as homemade Caesar salad dressing, Hollandaise sauce, cookie dough and eggnog. Commercial products are made with pasteurized eggs.

Cooking Tips for Eggs

With the possibility that some eggs may contain Salmonella bacteria, they should be cooked thoroughly.

  • Cook eggs until the yolk and whites are firm. Eggs and dishes made with eggs should reach 160° F.
  • Quiches and egg-based casseroles - bake until a knife comes out clean.
  • Sauces or custards - cook until the mixture coats a metal spoon.

Cook at 250°F (medium-high heat):

  • Sauces or custards - 7 minutes; or 4 minutes covered.
  • Sauces or custards - cook 2 - 3 minutes on each side
  • Sauces or custards - cook until firm throughout.

Cook in boiling water:

  • Poached eggs - 5 minutes.
  • Hard cooked eggs - 7 minutes.

Consumer Tips

  • Wash hands as well as utensils, containers and work surfaces before and after coming into contact with raw eggs.
  • Serve cooked eggs and dishes containing eggs hot and refrigerate within two hours to serve chilled at a later time.
  • Make the dairy aisle one of the last stops in your shopping trip so the items do not become warm in the cart.
  • Examine containers for leaks or other damage.
  • Many states require dating on dairy products. The "sell by" date is the last date a product should be offered for sale so you will have a reasonable length of time to use the food at home.
  • Go directly home from the supermarket and refrigerate the products as soon as possible.

Most cases of food poisoning are caused by pathogenic (disease causing) microorganisms, parasites or viruses. However, not all microorganisms cause food poisoning. Some bacteria, yeasts and molds are used in food production. Others are food spoilage microorganisms which cause foods to turn bad.

Bacteria are part of our environment. Where there is food there may be bacteria. Proper food handling and cooking are the best ways to prevent foodborne illness. Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness, especially for children, the elderly, pregnant women and those who have chronic illnesses or compromised immune systems.