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Vacuum Sealed Foods Shelf Life


Vacuum Sealed Food Shelf-Life Chart


Whilst keeping the majority of foods in their original packaging can help with preserving them for as long as possible, there are other methods which can prolong the shelf life even further. One of these methods is vacuum packing, removing all the air from a packaged item can help prevent bacteria from growing.

There are many benefits of vacuum packing outside of preventing the growth of bacteria. Some foods don’t necessarily last longer in vacuum bags such as vacuum-packed coffee beans in the freezer, however, the coffee beans will retain much more of their flavor for longer when kept in a vacuum bag. Vacuum packing can also reduce the size of the item, meaning you have more storage.
But how long does vacuum sealed food last?


How Long Does Vacuum Sealed Food Last in a Freezer?

Food Normal Shelf Vacuum Shelf
Meat 4-12 months 2-3 years
Luncheon Meat (unopen) 1-2 months 6 months
Luncheon Meat (open) 1-2 months 3 months
Hotdogs 1-2 months 6 months
Ground Meat 3-4 months 1 year
Mackerel, Salmon, Tuna 2 months 3 months
Lobster, Crab (de-shelled) 2-4 months 12 months
Shrimp, Crayfish 3-6 months 10-12 months
Green Beans 8 months 2-3 years
Corn 6 months 1 year
Asparagus 10-12 months 2 years
Plums, Peaches 6 months 1 year
Pineapple 1 year 2-3 years
Tomatoes 6 months 1 year
Berries 6-8 months 2-3 years
Bagels, Bread, Pastries 6 months 3 years
Cookie Dough 4-6 weeks 3 months
Cookies (homemade) 8-12 months 2-3 years
Coffee Beans 3-6 months 6-9 months
Ground Coffee 6 months 2 year

Freezing food is a great way to preserve it, however, if not stored properly can lead to your food developing freezer burn. This happens when the water molecules within food migrate to the coldest parts of the freezer, often the sides, and cause food to dehydrate.


When freezing cruciferous vegetables it’s important to blanch the food first, as they release a gas which can cause the plastic bag to expand. Not ideal when the purpose of vacuum packing is to remove all the gases.

How Long Does Vacuum Sealed Food Last at Room Temperature?

Food Normal Shelf Vacuum Shelf
Cookies (homemade) 2-3 days 1 week
Cookies (bought) 1-2 months 9 months
Almonds, Peanuts 6-12 months 2 years
Coffee Beans 3-5 months 6-9 months
Ground Coffee 1-2 weeks 5 months
Grains 1 year 8 years
Beans 2-3 years 10-12 years
Rice (white) Pasta 1-2 years 2-3 years
Rice (brown) 6 months 10 years
Uncooked Cereal 4-6 months 2 years
Crackers 1-2 months 1 year
Flour 3-8 months 1-2 years
Baking Powder 6 months 6-12 months

The Cryovac vacuum packaging process – created in the 50s to package whole turkeys – was the first commercial example of vacuum packaging perishable items. Since the introduction of industrial vacuum packaging, new methods, materials, and machines have evolved that have improved the quality of human life.

How Long Does Vacuum Sealed Food Last in a Fridge?

Food Normal Shelf Vacuum Shelf
Eggs (hardboiled) 1 week 1 week
Chicken (cooked) 3-4 days 2 weeks
Chicken (raw) 1-2 days 4-5 days
Cheddar 6-8 weeks 4-6 months
Lettuce, Spinach 7-10 days 2 weeks
Citrus Fruits 3-4 weeks 1 month
Berries 5-7 days 4-8 months
Tomatoes 10 days 6 months

The refrigerator is also a great place to store vacuum-packed food, it can make food last for weeks rather than days. It also allows you to buy food, such as chicken, in bulk, without the fear of having to eat it all over a few days.



Overall, we would strongly recommend vacuum packing as much food as you can in these trying times. Make sure you check if the food has any preparation steps before it can be vacuum sealed, it will also be worth checking if the vacuum seal has stayed shut soon after storing. It’s also important to always check food hasn’t gone bad before cooking if it’s been stored for long periods of time, especially raw meats. For a further extension of shelf life check out which gases are used for modified atmosphere packaging.

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