How long does cooked ham last in the fridge?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how long does cooked ham last in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of cooked ham in different conditions. Moreover, we are going to discuss the different ways to tell if your ham has gone bad and the health implications of eating a bad ham.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How long does cooked ham last in the fridge?

Fresh, uncured cooked ham

Fresh, uncured, cooked ham lasts for 3-5 days in the fridge if stored in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag at approximately 40°F or below. 

The cooked, store-wrapped whole ham

Cooked, store-wrapped whole ham lasts for about a week in the fridge if stored at approximately 40°F or below. 

Cooked, vacuum-sealed, unopened ham

Cooked, vacuum-sealed, unopened ham lasts for “use-by” date written on the package when stored properly in the fridge.

Cooked country ham

Cooked country ham lasts for about a week in the fridge if stored in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag at approximately 40°F or below. 

Cooked store wrapped slices

Fresh, uncured, cooked ham lasts for 3-4 days in the fridge if stored at approximately 40°F or below. 

How long does uncooked ham last in the fridge?

Fresh, uncured, uncooked ham

Fresh, uncured, uncooked ham lasts for 3-5 days in the fridge if stored in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag at approximately 40°F or below. 

Cured, uncooked, or cook-before-eating ham

Cured, uncooked, or cook-before-eating ham lasts for 5-7 days in the fridge if stored in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag at approximately 40°F or below. 

Canned, labeled “keep refrigerated”, unopened ham

Canned, labelled “keep refrigerated”, unopened ham lasts for 6-9 months in the fridge if stored at approximately 40°F or below. 

Canned, open, shelf-stable ham

Canned, open, shelf-stable ham lasts for 5-14 days in the fridge if stored in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag at approximately 40°F or below. 

What is the optimum temperature to store cooked ham?

You should always store your ham at 40°F or below in the fridge. Bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40°F and 140°F, therefore it is always advised to store your cooked ham at a lower temperature.

How long does cooked ham last in the freezer?

Fresh, uncured cooked ham

Fresh, uncured, cooked ham lasts for 3-4 months in the freezer if stored in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag at approximately 40°F or below. 

The cooked, store-wrapped whole ham

Cooked, store-wrapped whole ham lasts for about 1-2 months in the freezer if stored at approximately 40°F or below. 

Cooked, vacuum-sealed, unopened ham

Cooked, vacuum-sealed, unopened ham lasts for 1-2 months when stored properly in the freezer.

Cooked country ham

Cooked country ham lasts for about 1 month in the freezer if stored in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag at approximately 40°F or below. 

Cooked store wrapped slices

Fresh, uncured, cooked ham lasts for 1-2 months in the freezer if stored at approximately 40°F or below. 

How long does uncooked ham last in the freezer?

Fresh, uncured, uncooked ham

Fresh, uncured, uncooked ham lasts for 3-4 months in the freezer if stored in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag at approximately 40°F or below. 

Cured, uncooked, or cook-before-eating ham

Cured, uncooked, or cook-before-eating ham lasts for 3-4 months in the freezer if stored in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag at approximately 40°F or below. 

Canned, labelled “keep refrigerated”, unopened ham

Canned, labelled “keep refrigerated”, unopened ham should not be stored in the freezer.

Canned, open, shelf-stable ham

Canned, open, shelf-stable ham lasts for 1-2 months in the freezer if stored in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag at approximately 40°F or below. 

How long does cooked ham last after being frozen and thawed?

Frozen cooked ham, if thawed in the refrigerator, can stay there for 3-4 days before reheating and eating it. But if you thaw your cooked ham in the microwave, it is advised to reheat and consume it immediately afterward. 

How long does cooked ham last at room temperature?

Cooked ham lasts for about 2 hours when kept at room temperature. You should discard the cooked ham that has been left in open for more than 2 hours as bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40°F and 140°F, therefore there are greater chances of the cooked ham being already contaminated with bacteria when left out for more than 2 hours.

How to tell if the ham has gone bad?

You can tell whether or not your ham has gone bad by considering its appearance, texture, and smell.

  1. If you can see the color of the ham change to grey-green or if you can spot molds of grey-green color on the surface of the ham then it is the indication that your ham has gone bad.
  2. If you can feel something slimy while touching the ham then it means that your ham has gone bad. 
  3. If you can smell something acidic or sour then it means that your ham has gone bad and you should discard it. 

What will happen if you eat a ham that has gone bad?

Eating a cooked ham that has gone bad can put you at the risk of many food-borne illnesses especially food poisoning. Eating bad ham can cause vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramps.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long does cooked ham last in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of cooked ham in different conditions. Moreover, we discussed the different ways to tell if your ham has gone bad and the health implications of eating a bad ham.

Citations

https://www.foodsafety.gov/food-safety-charts/cold-food-storage-charts

https://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/17375

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Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.

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