Have you ever opened the refrigerator or the freezer and wondered if something sitting in there is still good, not spoiled or otherwise tainted?

How long can you keep things like cold cuts, eggs, chicken or leftovers?

As much as 40 percent of food is wasted in the U.S. every year, and while the “smell test” is not reliable when it comes to cleaning out your fridge, these easy tips for 10 popular foods will get you on the right track.

The first recommendation is to place a hanging thermometer in your fridge and make sure the temperature stays below 40 degrees to avoid spoilage and more importantly bacterial growth.

Here are just a few popular items and their "hold" times:

  • Leftovers - make sure they are bagged or wrapped properly and consume within 3 days.
  • Eggs - use within two weeks of the sell date on the package and place them on a rack, do not store in the door, that's is the warmest area of the fridge.
  • Deli Meat or Cold Cuts - only buy enough for 3 days, and use within three days of being opened.
  • Chicken - Store frozen (preferably in a freezer bag) and use within 3 months.  It may keep indefinitely but loses it's flavor after three months.

For more items and expiration times the TODAY Show has an article that can be accessed here.