How Long Does Ham Last In Fridge (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 3-7 days (Approx)

Ham is basically pork (pig’s meat). The leg cut of the pig is particularly called ham and the meat of other parts is known as bacon. Ham forms around 20% of the total weight of the pig. Ham can be used fresh or can be cured(preserved) for future use as well. The process by which ham is preserved is called curing. It involves smoking, salting, drying, or freezing.

Ham is widely consumed in many parts of the world including the United States. This is done so because of the amount of energy it provides. Ham provides approximately 1,200-1,600 calories per pound. Not only does it provides energy, but it is also rich in many essential nutrients required by the body. It is an amazing source of calcium, iron, vitamin (Vit. B12), phosphorus, and riboflavin.

How Long Does Ham Last In Fridge?

The preservation of ham is done by curing. Curing basically involves checking the growth of the spoiling bacteria through various agents. Curing on the other hand also adds additional flavor to the meat. Ham requires constant refrigeration in order to remain preserved for a longer period of time. Ham can be refrigerated at 40 F or lower depending upon the type of ham.

In order to refrigerate ham, it is to be wrapped very tightly so that it does not come in contact with the air because if it comes in contact with air, the meat will start to dry out. Ham can be frozen to avoid its perishing.

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The following table shows the storage chart of ham in the fridge:-

Type Of HamRefrigerator Storage
1. Uncooked Ham5-7 days
2. Cooked Ham3-5 days
3. Vaccum Sealed Ham2 weeks

Several factors that affect the shelf life of ham are:-

  1. Type of ham
  2. Temprature
  3. Humidity
  4. Extent of wrapping

Why Does Ham Last This Long In Fridge?

Ham can be preserved at a very lower temperature inside the fridge. Ham has to be cured before it is stored. It is done so in order to avoid agents that cause degradation/rotting of the meat. Some of the common microbes that damage the ham are the bacteria like Listeria, staphylococcus, etc. Bacterial growth can not take place at relatively low temperatures. It is stored in the refrigerator at such a low temperature so that no bacterial growth can take place. It is wrapped airtight so that the meat remains fresh and juicy.

Ham can go bad when it faces humidity. Upon storing it in the fridge, it is guaranteed that it will not come in contact with humidity. this way its shelf life increases to a large extent.

Conclusion

Ham is the name given to the leg piece of the pork meat. It is widely consumed in many parts of the world including North America and other European countries. It is highly nutritious. It is rich in protein, calcium, vitamin, iron, phosphorus, and whatnot. It is very high on energy. The good thing is that it contains all nine amino acids making it a full protein. This shows that even though ham is processed meat but it is highly nutritional and healthy. Certain type of Ham is known to reduce inflammations in the body. It is also helpful in maintaining the muscle mass of an individual.

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How Long Is Ham Good For (And Why)?

Due to the numerous benefits mentioned above, ham is widely consumed. For this reason, it has to be preserved for future use also. Ham is meat. Meat tends to get degraded by various bacteria and other microbes. In the case of ham, it is the staphylococcus that is responsible for spoiling it. In order to avoid this, ham is cured and is stored in the fridge. This is done so because the temperature inside the fridge is extremely low where bacterial growth is negligible.

Another reason why ham remains preserved in the fridge for this long is that it avoids the ham to come in contact with air and humidity which also plays a major role in degrading ham.

That’s why ham can remain preserved for 3-7 days in the fridge.

References

  1. https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.7560/318034-027/html
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0740002014000112
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