How long is ham good for in the fridge?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “how long is ham good for in the fridge?”. We will also discuss in detail, the shelf life, and storage methods of ham.

How long is ham good for in the fridge?

Put it in the fridge as soon as you finish using it, and it will last longer. It should be stored in a securely sealed bag once it has been prepared to keep moisture and other impurities out.

The storage period varies for each kind, depending on how the ham was cooked. 

Please see the following storage recommendations.

Ham (vacuum-sealed, unopened) Use-by + 2 – 4 days
Ham (opened) 3 – 5 days
Ham (thawed) 3 – 5 days
Canned ham (sold unrefrigerated, unopened)Best-by + 1 month 
Canned ham (sold unrefrigerated, opened) 3 – 5 days

Tips for Freezing

  • Moisture-proof wrap or bags are preferable when freezing ham. Wax paper is not moisture resistant, and therefore not suitable for use as wrapping for cured ham, as moisture will seep through the wax paper.
  • Freezing the ham as soon as feasible will keep the greatest quality.
  • Canned ham should not be frozen directly. Remove the meat from the can, then wrap it well before placing it in the freezer to preserve its freshness.

How to tell if your ham has spoiled?

First and foremost, double-check the dates. Throw out a fresh ham that has been stored past the expiration date on the label or that has been opened for an extended time. Yes, even if everything appears to be in order.

Once the meat has been inspected, the results are ready. If it is slimy or starting to get grey, chuck it out. You should also do the same if it has developed an odor.

Even if it is only slightly off, the ham is past its prime, and it should be thrown.

Lastly, if the flavor is not right, then get rid of it.

Other FAQs about Ham which you may be interested in.

Can you eat a ham that has been frozen for 2 years?

Ham contamination prevention methods


It is important to keep the working area clean while working with ham and other meats, to avoid infection. Before and after handling raw ham, one should wash hands properly. Work surfaces, cutting boards, and equipment must be cleaned completely after exposure to raw meat. Do not use these surfaces for other foods until they have been adequately cleaned. This rule ensures that microbial cross-contamination between foods is avoided.


Always use separate tools while preparing and cooking food such as ham. Although washing and drying the chopping board are important before using it for cooked and raw meat, you should never use the same chopping board for both tasks.

If you are purchasing a ham, make sure to check the label and see if it has to be refrigerated. Buy perishables like meats, cheeses, and milk toward the conclusion of your shopping trip, so they can stay cool as long as possible. Check to see if there are any leaks or symptoms of leaking.

To prevent infection, you must handle the ham carefully when cooking and serving. Raw meat should not be served on the same plate or cooking utensils as food that has been cooked. To prevent any possible contamination of cooked meals or items that should not be cooked before eating, such as raw vegetables and fruit, make sure that uncooked ham does not come into touch with them.

Appropriate storage

The majority of hams should be kept out of the temperature zone where bacteria grows quickly.  A temperature range of 40°F to 140°F is regarded as the danger zone. Fresh and cured ham may be stored in the refrigerator for several days depending on the kind. To keep fresh, you should freeze anything that will not be used within the suggested time range. Ham that is not going to be used within a few days should be firmly wrapped and stored in the refrigerator as soon as feasible. Allow the ham to warm to room temperature for no more than two hours. If you are not intending to use it within four days of cooking, it should be frozen.

The process of freezing

To avoid food deterioration, refrigerate ham at 40°F or lower, and if it has not been used within the prescribed storage time, then freeze it. To preserve the ham’s flavor and texture, do not freeze it. Freezing does not affect the nutritional value of meat.

It is necessary to make sure that the ham is frozen as soon as possible after purchasing to preserve the optimum quality. To retain the food’s freshness, it should be frozen before cooking. If it has been removed from its original packaging or the original packaging has a hole in it, then it should be stored firmly packed in moisture-proof strong plastic wrap or foil. Use two layers of foil to help preserve moisture in the ham and ensure that it is securely wrapped all around.

Freezing the ham as soon as possible is important. If it freezes fast, it will be better thawed. To help speed up the freezing process, place the package on the freezer’s floor or against the wall. Always use a freezer unit for your frozen food instead of a refrigerator freezer. To maintain food’s freshness, the freezer units ensure that the temperature of the food is kept at or below 0°F. Concerning refrigerator-freezers, they can only maintain temperatures of 10˚F to 25˚F, which increases the swings in temperature. 


In this brief article, we answered the question, “how long is ham good for in the fridge?”. We also discussed in detail, the shelf life and storage methods of ham.