Bacteria grow rapidly in temperatures ranging between 40° F-140° F (4.4 ºC-60 ºC). (*) (*). They too must be kept refrigerated and not held unrefrigerated for longer than two hours (or one hour if it’s over 90 degrees F outside). Discoloration often starts around the edges of sliced meat. It’s not difficult to identify spoiled luncheon meats. If the feel of the meat is slimy or sticky or has hardened, it indicated that it is spoiled. Before I discovered a new way to keep the lunch meat fresh, the lunch meat would only stay fresh in my refrigerator for up to 3 days. Shelf Life: How Long Does Your Food Last? #2. Can You Refrigerate and Freeze Deli Meat? Also, if it develops moisture or a slimy texture on its surface or if you see any discoloration or mold, toss it. If unopened, it easily lasts up to 2 weeks but after opening, it should be kept in the refrigerator till 3 to 5 days. You can’t generalize about cured meats as easily. It is also important to note that the temperature should be maintained at 40 ºF or 4.4 ºC. The freshness largely depends upon whether it is opened or unopened. #2. Eat By Date: How Long Does Deli Meat Last? Luncheon meat can be kept in refrigeration to maintain its freshness. Sweet Potatoes Shelf Life: How Long Does It Last? Freshly cut lunch meats – like those you get sliced at the deli counter or buy in a supermarket – have a slightly shorter life span. Again, that time depends on the type of meat and how well you stored it. (*). A few examples of precooked lunch meats include: A few examples of smoked lunch meats include: A few examples of cured lunch meats include: Precooked deli meats should be stored in an airtight container or zip-lock bag in the refrigerator. #3. If the packaging has a “sell-by date” instead, you can expect the sliced meat to stay good for seven to 10 days from that date, opened or not. They typically stay good for about five days, but those made with minimal preservatives may start going downhill at around day three. Note the use-by date on pre-made trays, or eat the meats within three days of a sell-by date. #1 Wash hands often, especially before preparing a meal or eating, after using the toilet. U.S. Department of Agriculture: Sausages and Food Safety, U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Refrigerator and Freezer Storage Chart, A Web Experience brought to you by LEAFtv, Difference Between Meat Bologna & Beef Bologna, Certain sausages, such as kielbasa, andouille and chorizo, Salamis like Genoa, pepperoni and capicola. When buying packed meat, check whether the seal is intact, if damaged, do not buy that. Luncheon meat can also be stored in the freezer for an indefinite period. They can be purchased in vacuum packs as pre-sliced or sliced upon order. If unopened, it easily lasts up to 2 weeks but after opening, it should be kept in the refrigerator till 3 to 5 days. Deli meat can be stored in the freezer for indefinite time but for best quality, it is preferred to consume it within 1-2 months. Keep your refrigerator at 40 ° F / 4.4 °C or less). After opening a package of lunch meats or buying sliced lunch meats at a deli, you can refrigerate them for 3 to 5 days. Another popular name is deli meat. Cured Lunch Meat Storage and Shelf Life You can’t generalize about cured meats as … Packaged lunch meats can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 weeks before opening. Yes. Also referred to by terms such as “cold cuts,” “deli meat,” “luncheon meat,” “sandwich meat” “lunchmeat” and “sliced meat,” lunch meat is precooked, smoked or cured. #5 Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold when taking them out in an insulated container. The color of cold meat has to be iridescent. If there seems to come an off odor from meat, it is not consumable anymore. Fresh Deli Meats last for: 5-6 Days--Pre-packaged Deli Meats last for: 7-10 Days: 6-8 Months: Bologna lasts for: 1-2 Weeks: 2-3 Months: Salami (hard)* lasts for: 3-4 Weeks: 2-3 Months (Opened) Refrigerator Freezer; Fresh Deli Meats last for: 5-6 Days--Packaged Lunch Meat lasts for: 7-10 Days--Bologna lasts for: 1-2 Weeks: 1-2 Months: Salami (hard)* lasts for: 2-3 Weeks: 2-3 Months After keeping the unopened luncheon meat in the refrigerator for 2 weeks and if still it has not been consumed, it can be put into the freezer for 1 to 2 months. Top 7 Substitutes For Self-Rising Flour That Are…, Top 5 Substitutes For Liquid Smoke To Cook The Best…, How To Avoid Food Poisoning/ Food Turning Bad, Top 6 Substitutes For Celery To Make Amazing Dishes, Top 6 Substitutes for Harissa That Bring The Heat You Were Looking For. For best quality and reducing the risk of food-borne illness, always reheat food completely before eating. (*). But once you’ve opened the package, eat them within seven to 10 days. *Featured Photo by AndreySt/depositphotos. They are pre-cooked or cured meat which is served either hot or cold as per preference. When they’re in factory-sealed packaging, smoked luncheon meats last until their indicated expiration or use-by date. She has collaborated with Fitibilty.com to share her knowledge, passion and to reach a wider audience through her writings. With so much variety to offer, cold meat has now become an essential food item but to improve its shelf life, it is important to keep it safe and stored at the right temperature. The signs of spoiled deli meat are the “off” smell and slimy texture. Lunch meat is present in the market under a variety of names such as cooked meats, sliced meat, luncheon meat, cold meat, and cold cut. Try to consume the purchased product within the time frame mentioned on the label. Different meats in this category can last from a few weeks to several months. However, once you open the package, use it within seven to 10 days, even if that’s sooner than the use-by or expiration date. Symptoms may appear after a few hours or a day which may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, etc. Some are shelf stable, meaning they don’t even require refrigeration, while some are only shelf stable until you open the packaging, but many types require refrigeration at all times.