How long it is safe to keep a particular food depends on many factors: its water and protein content, its freshness and quality when you bought it, the temperature at which it has been stored, the type of pathogens likely to grow on the food, and your immune status.

Also, use-by dates should be treated with caution if you are pregnant or have lowered immunity due to illness or medical treatment.

Always take note of the use-by date and storage instructions if there are any. As a general guide, here's how long you can keep food in your fridge once the packaging is opened.

Product How long it lasts
Butter 2 months
Margarine 2 months
Smoked salmon 2 days
Smoked chicken 3 days
Cooked chicken 2 days
Pate 3 days
Bacon 7 days
Salami 7 days
Luncheon 3 days
Pasta sauce 2 days
Long-life milk 3 to 10 days, depending on brand
Cream 5 days
Camembert or brie 1 week
Cheddar 2 months
Cottage cheese 5 days
Cream cheese 2 weeks
Sour cream 1 week
Frankfurters 5 days
Soy milk 5 days
Tomato sauce 8 weeks
Sliced ham 5 days
Canned fish 2 days
Mayonnaise (store-bought) 8 weeks
Pickles and chutney 8 weeks
Canned baked beans 3 days
Canned whole peeled tomatoes 3 days
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