It’s enticing to load up on deli meat when there is a real sale or to purchase half a month of food at once in order to limit the frequent journey to the grocery stores.
If that is the case, then this is a great opportunity to become familiar with some interesting facts about prepackaged or sliced deli meats. Find out here how long does deli meat last, how to store it, freeze it, or recognize when it has gone bad.
How Long Does Deli Meat Last?
There are a significant number of types of deli meat to enumerate them all here. Even the same type of meat, with a different producer, has a different expiration date. So, we are going to answer the question about how long does deli meat lasts in general.
Pre-packaged lunch meat comes in a package with a sell-by date. This date is different for varied types. And once you unseal the package, the product will remain fresh for approximately 3 to 7 days. Naturally, it mostly depends on the way you store the deli meat and the type of meat. For example, drier meats tend to last for a longer time.
And how long does deli meat last, when sliced at the counter? Well, usually about 2 up to 5 days. Again, this interval depends on the kind of meat you buy, and on the way you store it.
How to Properly Store Deli Meat?
The characteristics and the ways one store’s deli meat, regardless of the multitude of types on the market, are just about the same. Firstly, cold cuts are sold refrigerated. So, keep in mind the fact that this is the way they should be preserved at home, too. In order to properly store it, the fridge is the right place for deli meat.
Also, when you buy deli meat, sliced at the counter or prepackaged, you should always preserve it well-wrapped.
Pre-packaged meat usually comes with a reclosable pack, and if that is the case, then don’t hesitate to leave the unconsumed product in its original wrapping. On the other hand, if that is not the case for what you have bought, put the leftovers in a freezer bag and thoroughly squeeze the air out before you seal it. This will prevent dry out.
Also, this exact same process of preservation applies to deli meat sliced at the counter.
Which Types of Deli Meat Can You Freeze?
All store meats can be refrigerated. Restored meats, similar to hotdog and bologna, will in general hold up the best, on account of their thick, generous surface and reduced water content. Also, freezing deli meats, such as chicken, ham, or even roasted turkey is possible, yet the meat might be a little bit wet after defrosting.
If you wish to, you can freeze this meat in slices or as a whole. But, for best results, try not to keep the meat in the freezer for too long.
Ideally, lunch meat lasts for about 2 months in the freezer. After this interval of time, the flavor and the texture will most likely decline.
On the other hand, cured meats may still be flavourful for up to 3 months.
When is Deli Meat Gone Bad or Spoiled?
First of all, avoid foodborne illnesses, by practicing adequate hygiene and proper food storing techniques.
Trust your senses in order to recognize spoiled deli meat. Some features of deli meat gone bad to include a moist surface, a wet or slimy exterior, and a sour smell. So, inspect the deli meat carefully, smell it, and if you notice that sour smell, the best thing to do is not to eat the product.
Deli meats with a higher mass of fat, such as hard salami or bologna, will hold out longer than other meats. When they go bad, you will see a change of color around the edge. The brown or gray color of the edges means that the product should not be eaten. Furthermore, if you see mold on the meat, simply throw it away.
Spoiled deli meats imply health risks and illnesses. So, in order to enjoy your food, always consume it before the expiration date and store it properly.