Our website is user-supported. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission but at no additional cost to you. Learn more >
Ham is a popular deli meat that adds flavor and protein to sandwiches, salads, and other dishes. When stored properly, ham can last for several weeks in the fridge, but it is important to understand the optimal storage conditions to keep it fresh and safe to eat. Vacuum sealing is a popular method of storing ham, as it removes air and helps to preserve the meat’s texture and flavor.
But how long does vacuum-sealed ham last in the fridge?
Vacuum-sealed ham can last significantly longer in the fridge compared to ham that is not vacuum-sealed. When properly stored in the refrigerator at a temperature of 40°F (4°C) or below, vacuum-sealed ham can last for the following approximate durations:
- Uncooked, vacuum-sealed ham: It can last in the fridge for about 1 to 2 weeks. Check the “use by” or “sell by” date on the packaging for more specific guidance.
- Cooked, vacuum-sealed ham: Cooked ham that has been vacuum-sealed can last in the refrigerator for about 1 to 2 weeks as well.
It’s essential to follow proper storage guidelines to maximize the shelf life of your vacuum-sealed ham:
Understanding Vacuum Sealing
Vacuum sealing is a process of removing air from a container, such as a plastic bag, to create a tight seal around the contents. This method is commonly used for food storage, as it helps to prevent spoilage and maintain the quality of the food. When it comes to ham, vacuum sealing can help to preserve its flavor and texture, as it prevents exposure to air and moisture.
What Affects How Long A Vacuum Sealed Ham Lasts in the Fridge?
The shelf life of vacuum-sealed ham in the fridge depends on several factors, including the type of ham, the packaging, and the storage conditions. Generally, vacuum-sealed ham can last for approximately two weeks in the fridge, but it is important to check the expiration date on the package and follow any storage instructions provided by the manufacturer.
It is also important to note that once the package is opened, the shelf life of the ham may be shorter. If you plan to store the ham for longer than two weeks, it is recommended to freeze it to extend its shelf life.
Tips for Safe Storage of Vacuum-Sealed Ham
To ensure the safety and quality of vacuum-sealed ham, it is important to follow these storage tips:
- Store the ham in the coldest part of the fridge, such as the back of the bottom shelf, where the temperature is most consistent.
- Keep the ham away from raw meat and other foods that may contaminate it with bacteria.
- Do not store the ham in the fridge door, as this area is subject to temperature fluctuations and may cause the ham to spoil quickly.
- If the package is damaged or torn, do not consume the ham and discard it immediately.
- Always check the expiration date on the package before consuming the ham.
How to Tell if Vacuum-Sealed Ham is Spoilt
Even when stored properly, vacuum-sealed ham can spoil if it is past its expiration date or if it has been contaminated with bacteria. Here are some signs that vacuum-sealed ham has spoilt:
- The ham has a foul smell or an off odor.
- The ham is slimy or has a sticky texture.
- The ham has a green or gray tint.
- The ham is discolored or has dark spots.
- The ham has mold or other visible signs of spoilage.
If you notice any of these signs, do not consume the ham and discard it immediately.
Freezing Vacuum-Sealed Ham
If you plan to store vacuum-sealed ham for longer than two weeks, it is recommended to freeze it to extend its shelf life. To freeze vacuum-sealed ham, follow these steps:
- Ensure that the ham is still within its expiration date.
- Place the ham in an airtight freezer bag or container.
- Label the bag or container with the date of freezing.
- Store the ham in the freezer for up to six months.
When you are ready to consume the frozen ham, make sure you thaw it in the fridge overnight and use it within three to four days. Do not refreeze thawed ham, as this can affect its texture and quality.
Vacuum-sealed ham can last for about two weeks in the fridge if stored properly. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s storage instructions and to check the expiration date on the package before consuming the ham.
To ensure the safety and quality of vacuum-sealed ham, store it in the coldest part of the fridge, keep it away from raw meat and other foods that may contaminate it, and discard it immediately if you notice any signs of spoilage.
If you plan to store vacuum-sealed ham for longer than two weeks, it is recommended to freeze it to extend its shelf life. By following these tips, you can enjoy fresh and delicious ham for longer.