How long to store food?

What is the difference between the DLC (use-by date) and the DDM (minimum durability date)?

To inform the consumer of the deadline beyond which a food is likely to have lost its microbiological qualities or its nutritional or taste qualities, etc., the DLC indicates a mandatory limit. It applies to fragile and very perishable foodstuffs which are often stored in the refrigerator (yogurts, cold meats and fresh meats, refrigerated ready meals, etc.) which, after a short period, can present an immediate danger to health. It is expressed on the packaging by the words: “Consume until”. The DDM, on the contrary, does not have the imperative nature of the DLC. Once the date has passed, the food may have lost all or part of its specific qualities, without constituting a danger for the consumer (coffee may lose its aroma, dry biscuits their taste qualities, etc.). We do not hesitate to store them in airtight containers. The DDM expresses itself on the packaging by the mention: “To be consumed preferably before”. Foods sold non-prepackaged, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, alcoholic beverages, vinegars, cooking salts, solid sugars, bakery and pastry products normally consumed in restaurants, are exempt from DLC or DDM. twenty-four hours after their production and certain confectionery products.

Hygienic rules for storing food in the cold

We know that cold slows down the proliferation of mold and bacteria, but only for a time. We therefore do not hesitate to isolate all foodstuffs from each other, so that air circulates between them and as much as possible. whenever possible, by wrapping them in cling film or placing them in airtight containers. Well thought out for raw meats and fish, place them wrapped on a plate to avoid any spillage on other foods and avoid cross contamination. After opening fresh products such as ham or cheeses in film, we remember to store them in a plastic box or wrap them in cling film. We also remember to never store an opened can (tomatoes, coconut milk, green vegetables, fruits in syrup) in a cool place and to transfer its contents into an airtight container. Finally, eggs, which keep better in the cold, should not be washed before being stored, otherwise they risk becoming porous.

Shelf life of food in the refrigerator

24 hours max

Seafood, raw fish: 18 to 24 hours
Fresh offal, ground meat from the butcher (including sausages). Preparations made from raw eggs (homemade mayonnaise, chocolate mousse). Fresh milk.

48 hours

Raw meat from the butcher or pre-packaged meat that has been started. Leftover can: 2 days.

2 to 3 days

Homemade preparations, including cooked vegetables: 2 to 3 days in a plastic container, after cooling (2 hours at room temperature). Opened bottle of UHT milk: 3 days.

3 to 4 days

Pastry (containing milk and eggs). Sliced ​​or pre-packaged cold cuts started. Open pasteurized crème fraîche: 4 days.

5 to 6 days

Unopened oysters: 5 to 6 days without light, flat. Fruit juice started: 5 days.


Cheeses: between 8 and 20 days. Fresh eggs: 3 weeks to 1 month.

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