How long is deli ham good for?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how long is deli ham good for” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of deli ham in different conditions. Moreover, we are going to discuss whether or not deli ham is safe to eat past its “best by” date and ways to spot bad deli ham.

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

How long is deli ham good for?

An opened package of deli ham stays good for about 3-5 days if stored at approximately 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below in the fridge.

The unopened package of deli ham lasts for about 2 weeks in the fridge when stored appropriately.  It is the cool temperature of the refrigerator that decreases the rate of bacterial growth on the food when stored appropriately.

It is worth mentioning that these figures are just the estimated shelf life of the deli ham and it can last for longer than this, provided that it is stored properly. 

How long does deli ham last in the freezer?

Deli ham lasts for about 1-2 months if it is stored properly in the freezer. In the case of the unopened deli ham, you can wrap it in plastic wrap or put it in the plastic freezer bag to ensure its protection from freezer burns.

In the case of the opened deli ham, you can first wrap it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and then place it in the plastic freezer bag or heavy-duty freezer container.

The cold temperature of the freezer halts the bacterial growth on your deli ham, thereby prolonging its shelf life.

How long does deli ham last at room temperature?

Opened deli ham lasts for about 2 hours when kept at room temperature. You should discard the deli 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 degrees Fahrenheit and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore there are greater chances of the deli ham being already contaminated with bacteria when left out for more than 2 hours.

What is the optimum temperature to store deli ham?

You should always store your deli ham at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore it is always advised to store your deli ham at a lower temperature.

Is deli ham safe to use after the best-before date?

The “best by” or “best before” date that is written on the package of deli ham refers to the quality rather than safety so the deli ham doesn’t necessarily go bad immediately after the best before date. 

This date refers to the time during which you can enjoy the peak quality and flavor of deli ham but you can still use deli ham that is past this date as long as it was stored properly and there is no mold, off-smell, or off-flavor in it. 

Can I refrigerate the reheated deli ham?

Once you have reheated your refrigerated or frozen deli ham, you should never refrigerate it again. 

The reason behind this is that when you heat the previously refrigerated or frozen deli ham, its temperature rises from 40 degrees Fahrenheit and that is the suitable temperature for bacteria to grow, thereby bacteria can grow at a faster pace and you should never refrigerate such deli ham again.

How to spot bad deli ham?

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

Appearance

If you can see some off-coloration or if you can spot molds or dark spots on the surface of your deli ham then it is the indication that your deli ham has gone bad and you should discard it.

Texture

If you can feel something slimy or gooey while touching your deli ham then it means that your deli ham has gone bad. 

Smell

If you can smell something acidic, sour, or some ammonia-like smell while taking a sniff test of your deli ham then it means that it has gone bad and you should get rid of it. 

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long is deli ham good for” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of deli ham in different conditions. Moreover, we discussed whether or not deli ham is safe to eat past its “best by” date and ways to spot bad deli ham.

Citations

https://ask.usda.gov/s/article/How-long-does-lunch-meat-stay-fresh#:~:text=After%20opening%20a%20package%20of,F%2F%2D17.8%20%C2%B0C).

https://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/17376

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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