How Long Does Ham Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 1-2 weeks

 Ham lasts mostly up to 1-2 weeks in refrigerator but it depend on the labelled date but it can go little more time. Various processes are involved for making this ham or cured meat as food. There are some process and factors involved which help in identifying how long ham last.

One can maximize the shelf life of ham for more safety and quality by refrigerating the ham in air-tightly closed containers or wrapping in an aluminium foil or other methods.

How Long Does Ham Last

How Long Does Ham Last?

 Ham is the meat prepared from the rear leg (hind thighs) of a hog just like a bacon which is think and popularly known for the flavourful taste. Ham is either prepared as a food, either fresh or preserved one.

  1. Salting process, 
  2. Smoking, and
  3.  Drying process

    The above are some curing process that makes a ham. This is the stage when it is completely called as fully cooked. The ham lasts for a shorter period of time if it is not stored properly. Certain factors are as follows:

  1. The Shelf life
  2. Sell by date: The sell by date simply means the last date the store should sell this product, and not an expiration date of this product just like other proteins.
  3. The preparation as well as
  4. Preservation methods.

    The above factors have variables too. It is not constant in all places. It depends on place to places or company to company etc. The factors mentioned above are important while considering how long does ham last.

  1. At a room temperature: The Bacteria grows rapidly at temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F so if it was left 2 hours or beyond than that at the room temperature then the cooked ham should be discarded or thrown out.
  2. Refrigerator : The first step to extend the shelf life of a Ham and to keep it fresh for longer period of time is by storing it in the refrigerator immediately after usage. Fully cooked with proper sealed in a vacuum ham will last for 1 or 2 weeks in a refrigerator.
  3. Freezer: How long does cooked ham last in the freezer? Properly stored, it will maintain best quality for about 3 to 4 months, but will remain safe beyond that time.
Fully cooked with vacuum sealed 1 or 2 weeks1 month
Uncured and cooked3 to 5 days Up to 4 months
Opened and not vacuum3 to 5 days  –
Uncooked, uncured and fresh3 to 5 days6 to 8 month
Ham as salad3 to 4 daysDoes not freeze well
Ham burger1 to 2 days3 to 4 months
Lasting period of Ham

Why Does Ham Last That Long?

The shelf of the ham mainly depend on how it is stored. According to the storing condition or temperature one can easily able to use for long time. However it is also important to note the curing process to know its shelf life.

It is highly recommended to store ham properly for best use. The best and obvious way where the humans can detect the bad traits through the smell or vision.

If somebody smell the ham stored in their home smells salty or smoky or any sour smell (depending on what type it is ) coming from the ham then surely the ham either has expired or expiring sooner.

The next obvious from one can early detect the spoiled or bad or rotten ham is from the vision. If somebody sees the ham looks dull or slimy flesh or if the  meat which turns from the pink meat colour to a grey colour or green or bad colour the ham has spoiled already.


Changing of the pink meat to green color is surely a symbol of unhealthy ham.Black color indicates the ham get spoiled or bad to use further.If there is a rotten smell from the ham its surely has expired.

If something like above mentioned traits happens then one need to throw away the meat (ham) and next further step to clean the container that it was stored in. Here are delicious ideas for what to make with leftover ham!

The best way to use the ham before it get bad is to Fry some ham with the eggs for the evening or breakfast.


 The Ham was used in so many dishes with different kind of varieties. The Ham lasting period can be known from mainly from the freezing and curing process point of view but It is also important to know how long does ham last in recipes too.

It depends on the other ingredients which are used as a mix with these hams. So one need to do search and gain knowledge. And enjoy their foods.


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