How Long Does Ham Last?

How long does ham last? Ham lasts for 1-2 weeks beyond their labeled date, considering all the following variables. 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 ...

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Ham Expiration Date

(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 techniques will help prevent foodborne 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 spoiled foods so always remember to practice food safety and enjoy your foods before their shelf life has expired!

How to store Ham to extend its shelf life?

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, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.

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 to use extra before your Ham goes bad?

  • Fry some with your eggs for breakfast.
  • How long is Ham good for when prepared in a dish?

    How long does ham last? That depends. How long do eggs last? Foods that have been mixed together in a recipe will expire according to the quickest expiring ingredient in the list.

    What are our shelf life resources?

    In determining how long Ham lasts, our content 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 the shelf life of Ham.

    *An important note about expiration dates...

    Although the Ham shelf life 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!

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