Few foods offer as much convenience and flavor as a baked ham. It is a delight for the whole family and versatile. Of course, there are always leftovers, because a single ham is downright huge. But how long does this delicious pork last in the fridge before it goes bad?
Cooked ham can be kept for up to 5 days if it is whole, but it can only be kept for 3-4 days if it is not cured or sliced. A whole cooked ham will keep for 1-2 months if frozen in its packaging. Cooked ham can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week if you do not remove the packaging.
Pork is one of those meats you just can't mess with. If you've just bought a fresh ham for the family, you need to know when it's time to throw out the rest. This guide will give you a better understanding of how to handle this delicate meat.
What is the longest homemade ham that can stay in the fridge?
If your ham is cooked and uncured, the absolute maximum time it can be eaten safely is five days, although three days are increasingly recommended by food experts. If your ham is cured, it has gone through a salt conservation process to extend its useful life. This will give you an additional three days, bringing your maximum lifespan to a total of seven days.
When we say homemade, we mean it was you.put it in the oven. Other types of ham have slightly (or very) different expiration dates.
How long does the cooked ham last in the fridge?
Let's say you bought a large ham that a company cooked, vacuum-sealed, and shipped to your supermarket. Delicious choice, but does it work by the same rules as homemade ham? Not quite. Here's what you need to know:
- Purchased cooked ham that has been vacuum-packed at the factory should be consumed before the expiration date.Freezing it will give you a month or two.
- A whole cooked ham that has been cooked and packaged at the store will last a week.If you freeze that whole ham, you have a month or two.
- A store-bought cooked ham cut in half and wrapped will keep for up to five days.It is best to check on the label how long you have.
- Spiral-cut cooked ham only lasts five days.Like other ham products, it will keep in the freezer for a month or two.
Special cases: expiration times of special hams
Ham is a bit unusual when it comes to calculating expiration dates simply by a key property. The interesting thing about ham is that it is a cut of meat that can be made into a variety of different products, including some that are relatively rare. Each of these products has a different expiration date. For the sake of simplicity, we just divided it into canned and specialty products.
If you're a fan of canned ham, you already know that the packaging may tell you to refrigerate it once opened. Sometimes it even tells you to keep it refrigerated before you open it too. Canned ham will keep in the refrigerator for six to nine months if it is labeled "keep in the fridge." You should not freeze this type of canned ham.
Anyone who has opened a tin of long-life ham will only be able to keep it in the fridge for two weeks. If you have already opened the can, you can freeze the contents for another two months.
gourmet ham products
Do you love ham? Perhaps you are a foodie who enjoys serrano ham with eggs in the morning? So these pieces of raw ham have a longer shelf life. Depending on the type of meat, these products can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three months. If you freeze them, you actually reduce the shelf life to a month. Imagine that.
lunch meat ham
Do you love your lunchables? I don't blame you, but you still need to know how much time you have before you have to throw it away. Like spiral ham, cold cut ham has a maximum shelf life of five days in the refrigerator after opening. Before you open this package, you have a full two weeks before it goes bad.
strangely youpermittedFreeze luncheon meat hams when you want to maximize the shelf life of your food. Once frozen, you can have your lunch meat for a month or two.
A cooked country ham will keep in your refrigerator for a week after cooking. If you're not sure if it's a country ham, think about baked ham type dishes. This will keep in the freezer for two months.
Unlike most other hams, country ham will NOT go bad if it is moldy. Sometimes the mold here is a byproduct of the curing style. While that doesn't mean your ham is bad, you shouldn't eat the mold. If you see mold on your country ham, take a knife and scrape it off before continuing to cook or eat.
How is ham kept safe to eat?
Ham, like any other pork, is not safe to eat raw. Obviously you have to cook it. But that is not all that you should take into account when preparing the ham. These guidelines will help you keep your food safe:
- If your ham is raw, it should be cooked to 145 degrees Fahrenheit.This is the bare minimum to keep the ham edible.
- Cooked and vacuum-packed ham can be eaten cold.It is not necessary to heat them, but it is considered a good practice. If you want to reheat your ham, set your oven to at least 325 degrees and cook until the internal temperature of the ham is 140 degrees. This will kill any bacteria that may have grown during the ham's time at bacteria-friendly temperatures.
- Spiral-cut ham can be eaten without reheating, but most other types of ham should be reheated before eating.If you have ham, you don't necessarily need to heat it. To find out if reheating is required, read food labels.
- Do not leave the ham at room temperature for more than two hours.It only takes two hours for the bacteria to turn the ham into a food hazard.
- If you are making a country ham, you can soak it in water in the refrigerator for four to 12 hours to remove the salt.Once this is done, you can continue cooking, either by boiling or baking the ham. It is best to follow the manufacturer's instructions.
What are the worst pathogens that can infest your ham?
Like most other foods, ham is susceptible to mold. However, there is also a risk that a pathogen known asTrichinen. These parasites can be found in a variety of animals, but are most commonly found in pigs. To kill them, you need to cook the ham well before eating it.
Trichinella is certainly a risk, but there are other problems that can spoil your ham. The other major pathogen you want to avoid isstaphylococcus aureus. This type of staph can be found on the surface of ham and cannot always be removed by curing. This is why refrigeration is so important for most ham products.
What is the longest shelf life canned ham can keep at room temperature?
Canned ham is one of the few types of ham where adding chilling can shorten the shelf life of your ham. If you have an unopened can of ham that is durable and pantry-friendly, it can stay that way for up to two years and still be edible. Of course, the best way to know the shelf life of your ham is to read the label.
Is it safe to eat ham every day?
While you can still get some vital nutrients from ham, and you can keep your ham safe to eat with proper storage methods, ham may not be the best fit for your diet. Studies suggest that eating just one slice of ham a day may lead to a higher rate of cancer. However, these studies have not been fully reviewed and should be viewed with caution.
Can you eat prosciutto straight out of the package?
With most hams, eating straight from the package will make you gag. Prosciutto is different in that it is considered a "ready to eat" ham.
Ossiana Tepfenhart is a seasoned author specializing in interior design and general life advice. Writing is her life and what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investing.
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How long does precooked ham last in fridge? ›
Hams labeled “fully cooked” can be served cold or reheated to an internal temperature of 140° F. Both plastic-wrapped and vacuum-packaged hams must be refrigerated. A plastic-wrapped ham will keep about one week. A vacuum-packaged ham should be consumed by the “use by” date or within 1 week after the “sell by” date.How long before Christmas should I buy a ham? ›
You can store perishable ham safely according to these time limits: Uncooked ham, fully cooked spiral-sliced or unsliced ham, 3 to 5 days; ham after home cooking, 3 to 4 days.How long does cooked ham last in the fridge after Christmas? ›
If you're cooking a large ham, you're more than likely going to have lots of leftovers. Make sure you treat them properly with our tips and tricks. After opening, the ham will keep for about two weeks. Freeze ham for up to four weeks.
|Food||Type||Refrigerator (40 °F or below)|
|Ham||Fresh, uncured, cooked||3 to 4 days|
|Cured, cook-before-eating, uncooked||5 to 7 days or “use by” date|
|Fully-cooked, vacuum-sealed at plant, unopened||2 weeks or “use by” date|
|Cooked, store-wrapped, whole||1 week|
When Should You Throw Out Ham? If your ham has been stored in the fridge for more than five days after the package has been opened or in the freezer for more than six months, it is best to throw it out. Ham that has been exposed to temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit should also be disposed of.Is cooked ham good for 7 days? ›
Spiral-cut hams and leftovers from consumer-cooked hams may be stored in the refrigerator three to five days or frozen one to two months. Keep your refrigerator at 40 °F or less and your freezer at or near 0 °F. See also Ham and Food Safety.What kind of ham is best for Christmas dinner? ›
The traditional bone-in ham provides maximum flavor and classic presentation. Not only does meat on the bone typically cook slower than boneless meat, it also can cook more evenly since the bone conducts heat.When should I buy my ham for Thanksgiving? ›
Usually they do the week or two before Easter or Christmas. That may be a reason to wait until the sales ad comes out from your favorite grocery store. Buying early also gives you the most options as we get closer to the big holiday, certain types or sizes of hams may sell out.How do you store a cooked ham for Christmas? ›
Christmas ham stored in the fridge, either on the bone or carved off and wrapped in plastic and foil, will keep perfectly well for up to two weeks. Ham wrapped in plastic and foil and then frozen will last in the freezer for up to a month.How long does leftover Thanksgiving ham last in the fridge? ›
Those popular spiral-cut hams or any store-wrapped cooked ham will last three to four days in the fridge. Cooked country hams will last a bit longer, up to a week. Do: Wrap it up tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before refrigerating. If you choose to freeze, it will be good for one to two months.
How long will a honey baked ham last in the refrigerator? ›
If you happen to have leftovers, refrigerate and eat within five days. If after five days you still have leftovers, put them in the freezer where they can stay for up to six weeks. To serve after freezing, thaw in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours and be sure to eat it within the next two days.Can you freeze ham after 4 days? ›
If your leftover ham has been cooked, it will keep well in the fridge for 3-4 days. This applies to both cured and uncured (fresh) cooked hams. To freeze leftover ham, wrap it well in a layer of plastic wrap, then wrap that package in aluminum foil or place it into plastic freezer bags.How long is cooked spiral ham good for in the fridge? ›
Most types of ham last for about 5 days in the fridge
The outlet notes that both cured and fully cooked spiral hams that have been opened and cooked at home will stay fresh in the refrigerator for three to five days afterwards, while country ham will last for up to a week.
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.Does ham go bad after a week? ›
Most ham lasts 3-5 days in the fridge.
After 5 days, discard your ham as it will have gone bad. A whole ham will tend to last around 1 week in the fridge. Prosciutto, dry Italian ham, Spanish ham, and Serrano ham can last 2-3 months in the fridge. Canned ham will last up to 6 months to 2 years if it isn't opened.
If you're looking for more flavor, opt for a bone-in ham. Spiral-cut hams (which are cut around the bone) make it easy to maintain flavor without having to carve the meat yourself. One thing to note is that the most common hams found in supermarkets are city hams (meaning they're wet-cured or injected with brine).What is the most flavorful cut of ham? ›
The butt or sirloin end comes from the upper portion of the leg. This end contains the femur and pelvic bone, which can be challenging to carve around. It is a more tender and flavorful cut of meat and can often be more expensive.Is spiral ham better than regular ham? ›
Not only does spiral bone-in ham have a natural and preserved fresh flavor—it's also a lot easier to cut, because of the extra work done at the butcher's block. Even though the bone is still there, you have clear cutting lines to follow while slicing.What is the best cut of ham for Thanksgiving? ›
The shank end (or leg portion) sports that classic ham profile, so it's a good choice for a picture-perfect table. The meat tends to be leaner and it has one long bone, which makes carving easier. The butt end (the top half of the ham) has more tender, fattier meat, lending a richer flavor.How long can a Costco ham stay in the fridge? ›
The best before date on the ham is about two months from the date we purchased the ham, so that means you can purchase it well before you plan to cook it and just keep it in the refrigerator until you cook it. Once you do cook it though, the packaging recommends consuming the ham within three to five days.
Which is better bone-in or boneless ham? ›
A bone-in ham makes for a great visual presentation on the table, and is perfect for carving. And it's not just there for show — a ham bone is an excellent starter for flavorful soups and stocks. Boneless hams are easier to carve, and better suited for sandwiches. There's no real difference in flavor or texture.How do I make my ham last longer in the fridge? ›
Wrap your ham
To stop your ham drying out, keep it in a ham-bag or wrap it in a damp tea-towel in the fridge. Wash the bag, or tea-towel every few days with a splash of vinegar in the water.
To keep your ham fresh, place in a clean ham bag or pillowcase and store in the fridge. Avoid putting it in the coldest part of the fridge (ie. the back at the bottom), as this reaches temps of 3 degrees, whereas ham is recommended to be stored between 6-10 degrees.Do you have to reheat a fully cooked ham? ›
No. Both whole or half, cooked, vacuum-packaged hams packaged in federally inspected plants and canned hams can be eaten cold, right out of the package. However, if you want to reheat these cooked hams, set the oven no lower than 325 °F and heat to an internal temperature of 140 °F as measured with a food thermometer.Are leftovers good after 7 days? ›
Leftovers can be kept for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. After that, the risk of food poisoning goes up. If you don't think you'll be able to eat leftovers within four days, freeze them right away. Frozen leftovers will stay safe for a long time.How long does cold ham last in the fridge? ›
Properly stored, sliced ham deli meat will last for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator. How long can ham deli meat be left at room temperature? Bacteria grow rapidly at temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F; ham deli meat should be discarded if left out for more than 2 hours at room temperature.Why is Honey Baked Ham so good? ›
First, our Honey Baked Ham products start with a rigorous selection process, then the meat is smoked for up to 24 hours with our special blend of hardwood chips. The result is that every rich and flavorful bite, and every slice, is fall-apart-in-your-mouth perfect. There's something about that sweet, crunchy glaze.How long does a glazed ham last? ›
How long does Glazed Ham keep in the fridge? 1 week, if stored in a ham bag or pillowcase. Usually longer – just smell it. You will know if it is no longer good.How long will a ham bone last in the fridge? ›
You can store uncooked ham for up to 5 days at 40 degrees F (4 degrees C). It will stay good for six months if frozen.Should I freeze my ham before Thanksgiving? ›
The short answer is yes. Freezing ham is a great way to make sure you won't waste any of that delicious meat you invested so much time (and money) into preparing for the family.
Why you shouldn't freeze ham? ›
If you store it longer, it'll develop freezer burn, which is the meat drying out at the edges. The longer it stays in the freezer, the more freezer burn it will develop. If you are lucky enough to have a free-standing non-frost-free freezer, you can keep the ham up to 4 months without freezer burn.Can dogs eat ham? ›
Yes and no. Although ham isn't toxic for your dog, it's best to avoid it in large quantities. The odd small bite is unlikely to cause an issue (unless your dog has a known or underlying medical condition), but it's not the best meat for your pup to consume a lot of.What happens if you eat old ham? ›
"If you do eat a food past the expiration date [and the food] is spoiled, you could develop symptoms of food poisoning," said registered dietitian nutritionist Summer Yule, MS. The symptoms of foodborne illness can include fever, chills, stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.Is ham still good after 5 days? ›
The length of time smoked ham lasts in the refrigerator varies and depends on whether the ham already been cooked. Ham can last an average of 3-5 days in the refrigerator. If your ham is still wrapped in the store packaging and is unopened, it can last in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.Can you get food poisoning from old ham? ›
Deli meats including ham, salami and hot dogs can be contaminated with bacteria that cause food poisoning. It is important to store deli meats in the refrigerator and cook meat thoroughly before eating.How long does unopened Christmas Ham last in the fridge? ›
Dry cured ham has a total shelf life of two weeks when opened and refrigerated. It can last for up to three months when unopened and refrigerated as per Primesafe guidelines. Again, use-by-dates should be used as an indication for the remaining time you can refrigerate ham after purchase.How far in advance can you buy a Honeybaked ham? ›
If you choose to refrigerate your products, Honey Baked Ham can be refrigerated for 7 to 10 days and Honey Baked Turkey Breast can be refrigerated for 5 to 7 days.How long can you keep a Smithfield ham in the refrigerator? ›
Cooked country hams, Genuine Smithfield hams, and unopened slices will keep at least 6 weeks under refrigeration. Cooked hams may be frozen; however, we recommend removal of the bone before freezing. Gourmet slices should be consumed within a few days of opening.How can you tell if refrigerated ham is 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.How long can you keep an unopened spiral ham in refrigerator? ›
If you have a boneless, vacuum-sealed ham that has been refrigerated, it should last for up to two weeks. However, if you have a bone-in ham vacuum-sealed and refrigerated, it will only last for about one week. If you want your ham to last longer, consider freezing it.
How long can Costco ham stay in the fridge? ›
The best before date on the ham is about two months from the date we purchased the ham, so that means you can purchase it well before you plan to cook it and just keep it in the refrigerator until you cook it. Once you do cook it though, the packaging recommends consuming the ham within three to five days.Is Honeybaked Ham good after 2 weeks? ›
If you happen to have leftovers, refrigerate and eat within five days. If after five days you still have leftovers, put them in the freezer where they can stay for up to six weeks.Should I freeze ham before Thanksgiving? ›
The short answer is yes. Freezing ham is a great way to make sure you won't waste any of that delicious meat you invested so much time (and money) into preparing for the family.How many pounds of ham do I need to feed 10 people? ›
A portion bone-in ham (7.5lbs average weight) serves 10 people. Great for dinner parties, or a family dinner with plenty left over for sandwiches and such. A quarter ham (2lbs average weight) serves 6-8 people.How do you store cooked ham in the refrigerator? ›
Leftover ham does not need to be completely cooled before refrigerating. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, foil, an airtight bag or airtight container and then store in a refrigerator at 40°F or less.