How Long Does Deli Ham Last?


Last updated on September 5th, 2022 at 11:10 pm

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Deli meat is great for making sandwiches. Put it between two slices of bread with some cheese, lettuce and mayo and you have yourself a healthy and yummy meal. There are many types of deli meat, one of which is ham. Ham deli meat is good and even comes in many flavors from Black Forest to honey roasted. 

If you enjoy eating ham sandwiches, then you most likely buy a lot of it. But, if you don’t want it to go to waste, you may ask, how long does deli ham last?

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Deli ham lasts for up to 2 weeks when stored properly in the refrigerator and up to 2 months in the freezer if the package is unopened. Once the package is opened, the deli ham lasts for about 3 to 5 days in the fridge and 1 to 2 months in the freezer.

How Long Does Deli Ham Last?

So, depending on how you store it, deli ham will last for a shorter or longer amount of time. It will last for about as long as most other lunch meats. After purchasing deli ham it is best to eat it within the next week. If you don’t think you will, then freezing the meat is your best option. 

In the freezer deli meat lasts for a lot longer than if you would just refrigerate  it. Whether you are refrigerating or freezing deli ham, make sure you are storing it properly. Deli ham lasts for different amounts of time based on how you store it. 

You should always store lunch meat in either the refrigerator or the freezer. Never leave deli ham out at room temperature as bacteria can begin to grow on it after only 2 hours. If you eat spoiled deli ham, you could get very sick. 

So, if you accidentally leave your deli ham out for longer than a couple hours, it is best to throw it away and get some more. 

Saying this, after you purchase deli ham (or any deli meat) and bring it home or after you are done using it to make a sandwich, store it either in the fridge or freezer to keep it good. But, how long can it be stored before going bad? Well this depends on how it is stored. 

Let’s take a look at how long deli ham lasts according to how it is stored along with some tips to help you store deli ham properly for best results.

Storing Deli Ham In The Refrigerator

If you plan on eating your deli meat within the next week or two, then you should store it in the refrigerator. If it is a packaged lunch meat, then you can store the package directly in the fridge. If you have bought the ham from the deli, then you will need to put it in an airtight container, or wrap it in some plastic wrap or aluminum foil to keep it good. 

Unopened, both packaged and deli ham will last for about 2 weeks and even a day or two past its expiration date until you open it. Once it is opened it lasts for about 3 to 5 days.

Storing Deli Ham In The Freezer 

If you aren’t planning on eating the deli ham in the next week or two, then freeze it. When freezing packaged deli ham, you can keep it from getting freezer burnt by wrapping the package in a heavy duty aluminum foil or freezer paper, or place it in a freezer bag. When freezing ham sliced from the deli, you should always wrap it in heavy duty aluminum foil, freezer paper, or place it in a freezer bag. 

If the package of deli ham is opened and you decide to freeze it, you should do so before it goes bad, which is 3 to 5 days. Opened deli ham stored in the freezer will last for about 1 to 2 months. Unopened deli ham will last for 2 months in the freezer.

As you can see, the length of time deli ham lasts all depends on how you store it and if it is stored properly. For best results, be sure to wrap it well and store it for the recommended amount of time. After this, the deli ham will go bad, so be sure to use it before this amount of time.

How Can You Tell If Deli Ham Is Bad?

So, we know that deli ham only lasts for about 3 to 5 days after it has been opened. If it is stored longer than this, it will start to go bad. If the deli meat is spoiled, then there are some obvious signs that it has gone bad. 

So, how can you tell if deli meat is bad?

You will be able to tell when deli ham has gone bad by its appearance, feel, smell, and taste. If it has been stored for a while and any of these seems off, then the deli ham is most likely spoiled and should be thrown away and not be eaten.

After a while, deli meat will begin to go bad. Deli ham is only good for 3 to 5 days after it has been opened. Once deli ham goes bad, it will have some noticeable signs of spoilage. If it has any of these signs, then it should be tossed. 

Here are the ways you can tell if deli meat is bad. 

First, its expiration date. If you suspect that deli ham is bad, first check out its expiration date. If it has been open for a while and is past this date, it is bad. 

Second, its appearance. If deli ham is growing mold, then it is bad. It also will start to look extremely wet or slimy when it is going bad. 

Next, the way it feels. If deli ham feels really slimy with a film on it, then it has gone bad. 

Then, its smell. If deli ham has a strange or off odor of vinegar, ammonia, or yeast, then it is bad. 

Lastly, its taste. If deli meat has a bad taste, then it could be bad. 

If it has any other signs that it has gone bad, don’t try to taste it. (hence why it’s last on the list). Eating deli meat that has started to go bad can make you very sick. Spoiled deli meat contains harmful bacteria which can cause food poisoning. 

So, by knowing what to look for you can tell if deli ham is bad and avoid eating it.

So, if you notice that the ham looks, feels, smells, or even tastes strange, then it is most likely bad and should be discarded and not eaten. Be sure to store deli ham properly to keep it good for longer. 

How long deli meat lasts depends on if it is opened or unopened and how it is stored. An opened package of deli ham lasts for 3 to 5 days in the fridge, and 1 to 2 months in the freezer. Unopened, it can last for up to two weeks in the fridge and 2 months in the freezer.

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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