How Long Does Deli Turkey Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Three To Five Days

Deli turkey comes into the category of cold cuts. Cold cuts are also known as lunch meats, luncheon meats, or cold meats. This type of meat is precooked or processed or cured. They are also in a sliced form and can be served either hot or cold.

However, since deli turkey is an edible item, it is necessary to know how it needs to be stored so that it does not spoil. Also, it is good to know how long it will remain edible. After a specific time limit, it will create stomach issues when consumed once it goes bad.

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How Long Does Deli Turkey Last?

Food items tend to go bad real fast. Also, if it is meat or poultry, or fish, it can spoil quicker compared to vegetables. Since turkey is a poultry item, it needs to be cooked soon so that it does not spoil. To get rid of the spoilage, there is an option of Deli turkey. Although deli turkey is precooked, it will still go bad in some hours.

The period for which the deli turkey will last depends majorly on the way it is being stored. If stored correctly, it can even stay edible for up to five days. The best way to store deli turkey is to keep it in the refrigerator. Colder temperatures tend to keep the deli turkey fresh for a long time.

Besides, the shelf life of deli turkey can increase further if it is stored in a freezer. Since the freezer has low temperatures, there is no scope for bacteria to grow in the food, and hence the food will last way longer. If the deli turkey is sliced and kept in the freezer, it will last up to two months. 

However, it is imminent that deli turkey under no circumstance should be left on the counter after purchase. When left on the counter, the bacteria in the food will react to the air and can spoil the food in just a couple of hours.

Storage conditionsShelf life of deli turkey
Room TemperatureTwo hours
In the fridgeThree to five days
In the freezerUp to two month

Why Does Deli Turkey Last For That Long?

Irrespective of what the food item is, it will spoil after a course of time. The same is applicable for deli turkey as well. It depends on the food composition as to how long it will last. Besides, many other factors will determine the shelf life of deli turkey. The reasons are as below:

  • The way a food item is stored plays an imminent role in the time for which it will remain edible. Since the deli turkey are sliced precooked meat, it is necessary to keep the deli turkey in the refrigerator. Keeping deli turkey in the refrigerator will slow down the chemical process that happens in cooked food and the turkey will be edible for up to five days. 
  • It is even better if the deli turkey is stored in the freezer if there is no immediate use for it. It will ensure that the turkey will not spoil even for two months.
  • Another condition in which the deli turkey will stay good for a longer time is if it is kept in an air-tight container. Since it will be sealed, the air will not enter the container and will not react with the bacteria. If deli turkey is kept in an air-tight container and then stored in the freezer, it will further add to the shelf life of deli turkey.


Freezing deli turkey can be an apt option as it can improve the shelf life. All that needs to be done is just take the deli turkey out, thaw it and prepare as per choice.

Deli turkeys are cold cuts that are cured with sodium nitrate. It is how the meat has the proper color and flavor. Deli meat is also known to make the consumer more prone to cancer risks. It will not be the same in all cases, but consuming it in large quantities can be risky. It is good to consume deli turkey or cold cuts in low proportion only.



Last Updated : 23 February, 2024

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