Are you wondering how long does deli chicken meat last once purchased? Well if so, I have a few pointers to help guide you into the right direction. Now depending on the cold cuts, how fresh it was when purchased, and so on, will greatly affect the shelf life of lunch meat.
I am going to work on breaking it down, to help you enjoy the best quality deli chicken you can. So head to the grocery store and shop for your favorite cold cut meats or also called sandwich meats!
How Long Does Deli Meat Last In The Refrigerator?
Never allow your deli meat to be left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. This is going to be a sure way to spoil your meat fast. Your perishable meat needs to be refrigerated at all times.
Also, learn how to know the parts of a chicken, and how to use them when cooking!
Unopened Lunch Meat
Unopened lunch meat in the original package, it can store for up to two weeks according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Your refrigerator needs to be at least 40 degrees F or below, to prevent your chicken meat from spoilage.
Opened Lunch Meat
For opened lunch meat, you first need to refer to the expiration date on the package. Follow that as a standard. But once the meat is opened on average it can store for 3-5 days. Again, in a 40 degree or colder refrigerator of course.
Longer Shelf Life Tips
Are you looking to extend the shelf life and let your deli meat last longer? One option is you can freeze your meat, to prevent the deli meat from going bad so quickly.
Or you can simply buy less, so you don’t have any waste for the best option for not wasting lunch meat.
How to Freeze Chicken Deli Meat
You can use a vacuum seal system which will extend the life of your deli meat dramatically. If you don’t own one, I recommend plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Wrap tightly, and then place in a freezer bag.
You can wrap it up and place in an airtight container as well if need be. Then place the meat in the freezer and freeze for up to 6 months.
I do recommend freezing in smaller portion sizes, that way you can use the meat up before it goes bad. Smaller portions will help you in not needing to wonder if your perishable foods have spoiled as often.
Signs of Spoiled Deli Cut Meat
Here are some common signs of spoilage when it comes to the quality of your deli chicken.
First step is to smell your meat. If it offers a sour smell or even smells of vinegar, that is a sure way to know your meat is spoiled.
Slimy deli meat means it is spoiled and needs to be tossed. You can also sometimes see a white slime on the sliced meat as well.
If you reached the danger zone, of allowing your meat to set out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours, you will need to throw it out. This is going to allow bacteria growth to ramp up, and you run the risk of getting very sick with food poisoning if you consume the meat.
Also, look at the color. Gray to pale colored meat is another sign that your meat has gone bad. If it doesn’t look like it did when you purchased it, or the color is just off, toss it out.
If you see any mold or growth on your chicken sandwich meat, throw it out of course. This is a guaranteed spoilage.