Shelf Life of
Ham

How Long Does Ham Last?

Shelf Life of Ham

How long does ham last? The shelf life of ham depends on a variety of factors, such as the sell by date, the preparation method and how it was stored. Ham, just like bacon, is a cured meat prepared from the hind thighs of a hog. The rear of the pig is thick and flavorful. It is the curing process that makes a ham, it is fully cooked. A popular sandwich meat year around, a whole or half ham becomes a centerpiece on special occasions like Easter or Christmas.

So, how long does ham last? When properly stored, the shelf life of ham past its sell by date is approximately …

(Unopened) Refrigerator Freezer
Past Printed Date Past Printed Date
Ham lasts for 1-2 Weeks 6-8 Months
(Opened/Cooked) Refrigerator Freezer
Ham lasts for 7-10 Days 6-8 Months




Of course, ham lasts for a shorter period of time if it is not stored properly. But like a lot of other proteins, it usually has a sell by date which is simply the last date the store should sell the product, and not an expiration date for the product.

How to tell if ham is bad, rotten or spoiled?

Practicing proper hygiene and food safety discipline will help prevent food borne illness. Although not a perfect test, your senses are usually the most reliable instruments to tell if your ham has gone bad. Some common traits of bad ham are a dull, slimy flesh and a sour smell. The pink meat color will begin changing to a grey color when ham has spoiled. There are, of course, certain health risks associated with any spoiled food or drink, so always remember to practice food safety and enjoy your foods prior to their eat by dates.

How to store ham to extend its shelf life?

Proper food storage is the key to extending the expiration date of ham. You can help keep it fresh longer by storing it in your refrigerator immediately after use. Once prepared, it should be stored in a tightly closed container to keep out moisture and other contaminants.
For a long-term option, you can freeze your ham while preserving its taste if you use a freezer safe container.
Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier eating, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.

How to use extra ham before the ham goes bad?

  • Fry some with your eggs for breakfast.
  • Interesting Facts about Ham?

  • Hams are either wet cured, dry cured, smoked, or aged. Thus they have a longer shelf life than fresh meats.
  • How long is ham good for when prepared in a dish?

    How long does ham last? That depends. How long do eggs last? How long does bacon last? In general, it lasts only as long as the quickest expiring ingredient in the dish in which it was prepared. To find out how long those other ingredients are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or search below!

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    What are our shelf life resources?

    Our how long does ham last information incorporates research from multiple resources, including the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scoured the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and ham shelf life.

    *An important note about expiration dates …

    Although the shelf life of ham information on Eat By Date is generally reliable, please remember that individual cases will vary and that our advice should only be taken as an opinion and not a replacement for your health care professional. Please eat responsibly!