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Nov 21, 2009 09:02 AM

Food Storage Solution

Hi Guys,

I'm doing a lot of weight training and need to safely store as much meat as I can. I have two questions:

1. How long does, say, chicken last if properly refrigerated and will it last even longer if I get something like rubbermaid premiers?

2. Is the length of time something lasts for affected by the use by date on the packet? For example, I usually make sure I eat something within 3 days of cooking it, ignoring the use by. I often treat use by as 'cooky by' Is this correct?

3. Is Rubbermaid premier the best storage container out there?


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  1. There's nothing special about the Rubbermaid Premier brand that keeps food fresher, longer. Like any other good storage container, it's airtight. The other properties seem to be flexible lids and some kind of different plastic that claims to be more stain resistant.

    I think use by is the same as cook by, but I could be wrong. Obviously, as you know, a cooked chicken dish does not last long in the fridge, maybe three to four days tops.

    Frozen chicken should last about 6 months or more. Is there any reason you can't do that?

    4 Replies
    1. re: taos

      Ideally, I would like to freeze it but:

      1. Can you cook something, freeze it and then, when you decide to eat it, defrost it in the fridge and then just eat it without reheating?

      1. re: PaulMichel

        Sure. Reheating doesn't do anything to make it any more safe. It just makes it warm, and depending on the dish and your personal preferences, improves the taste and enjoyment. Once it's cooked, it's cooked.

        1. re: PaulMichel

          Yes, you can cook, freeze, and defrost in fridge and eat directly.

        2. re: taos

          I haven't had that experience. A cooked chicken dish, stored well, lasts a week pretty easily. I'm sure it will last less long if it was cooked very close to that "use by" date.

        3. In my experience, the "Use By" date is indeed the same as the "Cook By" date. And honestly there's a little room there, too. But cooking meat when it is as fresh as possible will yield the best results.

          We use a lot of food storage containers. Between packing stuff to eat at work and storing leftovers from weekend cooking sprees, our fridge is usually full. We eat leftovers until the next weekend with no ill effects. We have expensive tupperware, rubbermaid, etc. and cheap containers that came with takeout food. They all seem to work the same.

          4 Replies
          1. re: mojoeater

            So what we're saying is that, imagine cooked chicken will last, say 6 days after cooking. Provided that you cook it at some point before or on the use by date (say, 13th November) that it can be used UP to at , say, roughly thr 19th November?

            1. re: PaulMichel

              I can't give you exact dates as I'm no expert. I wouldn't store meat on the bone for that long. But yes, sometimes we have chili, soup, or a casserole in there all week. A lot depends on how the chicken is prepared, the temp of your fridge, etc. And what you personally prefer. I wouldn't cook up 10 pounds of chicken not knowing when we'd eat it.

              1. re: mojoeater

                Six days seems long to me, as well. I always use the sniff test. If it still smells good and it's within a week, it's probably good.

              2. re: PaulMichel

                A quick google search brings up many answers and opinions. In the end, you are responsible for what you eat. Go by smell and taste.

            2. Here is a handy chart of food storage times in the refrigerator and the freezer.


              1. I like the rubbermaid premier, but I think the primary advantage is that the four primary sizes come with only two sizes of lids, so, it all nests and interchanges nicely. They are sturdy and they don't leak. Aside from that, I don't really know if they are more effective than any other food storage containers.


                1. As another poster said, check your fridge's temp.. needs to be below 40, and if you are letting stuff sit in there a while, I might take it a bit lower. Try to minimize how often you open it as well.