How Long Does Deli Meat Last? Fresh Shelf life Tips

And how this meal must be stored

How Long Does Deli Meat Last

A meal would not be a meal without deli meats! Delicious cold meats fit any table and are perfect to be added to any main course.

How long does lunch meat last?

This is what we are about to figure out today!

What Is Lunch Meat? 

Deli meat also known as cold cuts are pre-cooked slices of different kinds of meat served hot or cold.

Traditionally, the slices are served on a plate or already included in sandwiches.

Such a “meat plate” is a perfect choice for any eating since everyone can choose what sort of meat they want and pick as many as they feel like.

For cold cuts, various sorts of poultry and red meat are used but fish is not popular.

Since this dish is served already cut, people often wonder: how long is lunch meat good for?

Let’s figure this out!

Related: How Long Does Cooked Sausage Last In The Fridge?

How to Store Luncheon Cuts. Tips And Nuances

Before we proceed to the main subject, it would be useful to learn how this meal must be stored since it does indeed require certain skills.

No matter whether you have some slices left uneaten after the meal or you need to keep the recently purchased ones for the upcoming party, following the storage rules will definitely extend their lifespan!

  • Place the unopened packets to the fridge instantly after they were brought from the store
  • After the packet is opened, return the rest of the meats back to the refrigerator to avoid the spoiling
  • Remove the opened slices to the tightly closed packet or tank since air, moisture, and contaminants may cause their spoilage
  • For the extended storage, feel free to freeze the meat cuts
The 5 Things You NEED to Know About Deli MeatsThe 5 Things You NEED to Know About Deli Meats

As long as the product is already cut in slices, it is more predisposed to the impact of the harmful external factors (e.g. moisture or heat). For this reason, never leave deli meats on the counter for a long time.

If the leftovers became too dry after staying on the table, better discard them if you’re not going to use them somehow else, for instance, for frying.

Related: Can You Freeze Tortillas?

How Long Are Cold Cuts Good For?

Photo by Lily Banse on Unsplash

How long is deli meat good for? This issue bothers many meat-lovers all over the world.

In general, the lunch meat shelf life hangs upon several things:

  • the sort of product
  • its sell-by date
  • the way of preparation
  • and the method of storage before served to the table
Photo by Theme Photos on Unsplash

Counting on these nuances, we have prepared a comparative table for you to make it easier to check whether your luncheon cuts are still ok to consume!

UnopenedFridgeFreezing camera
past expiry datepast expiry date
Fresh deli Unopened plastic wrap with meat slices will remain edible for 6 days at mostHowever, it can’t be kept in the freezing camera
Pre-packaged slicesThis sort will remain fresh for 10 days easilyAs for freezing, the slices will stay eatable for nearly eight months!
Bologna How long does Bologna deli meat last in the fridge? Bologna cuts are less durable being able to remain fresh for 2 weeks at mostNevertheless, frost extends their lifespan to 2 months
SalamiThis product is durable itself being able to stay tasty for one month easilyBut freezing will shift its lifespan to three months instead
Fresh slicesHow long can you keep fresh deli meat in the fridge? Once opened, keep them for a week but not longerFreezing, however, is not the best option for them
Packed meatsRemains edible for 10 daysNo freezing possible
BolognaStore it opened for 2 weeks without hesitation...and feel free to freeze for 2 months
Salami2-3 weeks in the fridge is the right term for this kind of meat foodstuff when openedAnd freezing will extend this period to 3 months
PepperoniThis one is among the most durable kinds since we can keep it opened for 3 weeks at most...and expose to frost for up tp eight months!

As you can see, deli meat cuts are quite durable but still, consider the different lifespan when serving and keeping them.

Related: How Long Do Hot Dogs Last?

How to Define That Cold Meats Are Bad?

Of course, like any meat product, deli slices tend to go bad.

Since consuming spoiled meat may end up badly, knowing the basic signs of spoilage is essential.

How long is deli meat good for
Photo by Sergey Orlovski on Unsplash
  • If the slices’ surface is wet
  • If the slices look moist and slimy
  • If meats smell off and sour
  • If color changed to grayish or brownish
  • If you noticed any traces of mold

Discard those products since they are impossible to consume any more and can be harmful to your health!

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐Is deli meat bad for our health?

Since this sort of product contains more sodium and nitrites (which serve as preservatives) and it is often fattier than ordinary meat, it is considered to be unhealthy.

⭐Is deli meat processed meat?

Yes, deli meats belong to the processed kinds of meat products that include smoked, salted, cured, and other preserved meats.

⭐Can deli meat cause cancer?

There’s no certain answer to this question, however, many scientists suppose that this sort of food may be one of the reasons why this illness appears in human bodies. However, consider that it refers to the excessive consumption of such products.

Read next: How Long Does Steak Last In The Fridge?

Written by
Elisa is a passionate cook who will advise you on healthy and delicious food topics! With her help, you will discover how to properly store and freeze food, as well as learn important nuances about preserving vitamins in your meals to make them stay nutritious.
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