Packaged lunch meats like chicken cold cut or deli ham store for around two weeks. Once you open the package or have actually the meat sliced at the deli counter, you can refrigerate that for 3 to five days.

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If those couple of days aren’t sufficient for your needs, or you bought a bunch of sandwich meat in ~ a discount, freeze is one idea worth exploring.

That’s the shelf life of having lunch meat in a nutshell.

Want come learn more aboutstoring cold cut in the fridge, freezing deli meat, and also knowing if your deli meat is spoiled? check out on.


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Sliced and diced deli meat

How long Is Deli Meat good for in the Fridge?

Packaged deli meat has actually a shelf life of up to 2 weeks and keeps because that a day or two previous the printed date.

Once you open up it up, you gain onlythree to five days of warehouse time. The same duration applies to any kind of cold cuts that you get sliced in ~ the deli counter.

Of course, those periods host true only if the meat has been repeatedly refrigerated.

If the meat sat on the respond to at the deli for too long, or it’s the center of summer and it took you one hour come get ago home v the groceries, the deli meat can not retain high quality for the pointed out period. Exposure to warmth decreases warehouse time significantly.

Plus, sometimes the meat itself is negative in terms of quality. And while that tastes okay, it keeps for only a day or two before it starts offering off a poor smell. I’ve viewed that happen countless times with the cold cut I bought.


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Making sandwiches through deali meat

After Sell-by Date

As i mentioned, lunch meat keeps because that an extra job or two past its day in plenty of cases.

Sometimes, the meat keeps because that longer. If it’s one with greater fat content, prefer pepperoni or salami, you could get a couple of extra days, however that’s much more of an exemption than a rule.

Overall, deli meat isn’t known for its longevity, and I would never ever count on her chicken cold cuts (or any type of other deli meat) to save for more than a day previous the printed date.

Left out Deli Meat

If you left out your deli meat at room temperature for an ext than two hrs on the counter, or more than one hour if the temperature was above 90°F (32°C), litter it out.

That’s thegeneral dominance for save perishable food ~ above the counter.

Of course, it’s as much as you to decision if you follow it religiously or not. Because that me, I usage it as a basic guideline.

For example, if i accidentally leave unopened packaged deli meat top top the respond to in the middle of winter for favor 3 hours due to the fact that I forgot to placed it in the fridge, I’m tho going to usage it. But if the very same sliced deli meat sit in a sandwich because that 3 hours on a heat day, I’m tossing it.

Again, it’s your contact on exactly how you go around it.

The thing you should recognize is that temperatures between 40°F and 140°F (or 4°C and also 60°C) are recognized as thedanger zone. That’s whereby bacteria main point fast, and also storing any perishable foods items at those temperatures for longer than absolutely essential isn’t a great idea.


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(credit: Mathew Schwartz)

How come Tell if Deli Meat is Bad?

Deli meat goes bad easily and quite quickly. Here’s what come look for as soon as checking if your cold cuts are okay to eat:

Slime.It’s probably the most common thing that happens come old or low-quality deli meat. That slime is brine sweeping out of the meat and congealing ~ above the surface. Slime doesn’t necessarily do deli meat unsafe to eat, yet it definitely makes that gross. Plus, that might aid some microbes develop. In quick – toss it.Stale, off, or tart smell.If your sliced turkey doesn’t have its delicious meaty smell but smells kind of stale or old, it’s time because that it to go.Changed color.If the cuts are turning gray or brown, that’s a pretty obvious sign they room no good anymore. Many deli meat beginning to rotate from the outside in.Mold.Deli meat hardly ever grows mold, but if her does, you know what come do.

Last yet not least, pay attention to the storage time. If your packaged sliced meat or cuts from the deli are open up for much more than 4 to 5 days, it’s probably time because that them come go.

The cold cuts can still be safe to eat if castle don’t show any kind of signs the spoilage, however you never know. Better safe 보다 sorry.


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Bread through cheese and also deli meat

Storing Deli Meat

Make sure your deli meat is constantly refrigerated and adequately wrapped.

If you can not reseal the package or the sheathe slices, relocate the slices into a freezer bag or airtight container, or wrap them. For the last option, butcher paper, plastic wrap, and aluminum foil must all job-related okay.

Last, let’s talk around freezing.

Can You frozen Deli Meat?

You have the right to freeze deli meats, however not all of them freeze same well. In various other words, some having lunch meats freeze much better than others.

Sandwich meat with greater fat content, prefer pepperoni or salami, tend to freezer far better than lean ones choose turkey or chicken. Nevertheless, even frozen and thawed deli turkey have to work fine because that a couple of sandwiches.

If possible, prior to freezing a whole bunch of deli meat, grab a couple of slices of her favorite one and give freeze a try. You’ll understand if the quality is an excellent enough after defrosting the meat.


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(credit: Wilfred Wong)

How To frozen Deli Meat

Here’s how you freeze deli meat:

Portion the slices.The slices will certainly freeze together, therefore if friend don’t want to defrost all of them, you need to divide them into separate piles. I suggest each one to have sufficient deli meat for 2 days.Pack the slices.Each heap goes right into its own freezer bag. If the slices could sit in the freezer for an ext than a pair of weeks, wrap each pile v plastic plunder or aluminum silver paper first. This will aid prevent freezer burn. Last, squeeze out all the air from the freezer bag and seal it.Label and freeze.Add labels to each bag if girlfriend like, and freeze them.

Your cold cuts need to retain an excellent quality because that at the very least 2 to 3 month if girlfriend double-wrap them or 4 to 6 weeks if they’re single-wrapped.

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When it pertains to thawing, ar the frozen having lunch meat in the refrigerator on a key the evening before you need it. It must be thawed and ready to go in the morning.