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Food Storage - How long can you keep...

HAM, WHOLE - PURCHASED FULLY COOKED AND COMMERCIALLY PACKAGED

Refrigerator
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5-7 days or date on package
Freezer
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Blue Arrow
1-2 months

Tips

  • How long does a whole ham or half ham last in the fridge or freezer? The exact answer depends to a large extent on storage conditions - keep ham refrigerated at all times.
  • Whole hams or half hams that are purchased fully cooked are typically cured and/or smoked and shelf life can vary depending on the specific manufacturing process used; consult label for storage instructions.
  • How long does a whole ham or half ham last in the refrigerator? Properly stored, whole ham or half ham will typically last for 5 to 7 days, or the date on the package, in the fridge.
  • Unopened whole ham or half ham may be kept in its original store packaging when refrigerating; to maximize the shelf life of whole ham or half ham, do not open the package until ready to use.
  • How long can whole ham or half ham be left at room temperature? Bacteria grow rapidly at temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F; whole ham or half ham should be discarded if left out for more than 2 hours at room temperature.
  • To further extend the shelf life of whole ham or half ham, freeze; when freezing, place whole ham or half ham in the freezer before the number of days shown for refrigerator storage has elapsed.
  • You can maximize the shelf life of whole ham or half ham in the freezer by overwrapping the original store packaging with airtight heavy-duty aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or freezer paper or place the package inside a heavy-duty freezer bag in order to prevent freezer burn.
  • How long does whole ham or half ham last in the freezer? Properly stored, it will maintain best quality for about 1 to 2 months, but will remain safe beyond that time.
  • The freezer time shown is for best quality only - ham that has been kept constantly frozen at 0°F will keep safe indefinitely.
  • How long does whole ham or half ham last after being frozen and thawed? Whole ham or half ham that has been defrosted in the fridge can be kept for an additional 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator before cooking; whole ham or half ham that was thawed in the microwave or in cold water should be cooked immediately.
  • How long does whole ham or half ham last in the fridge once it is cooked at home? Cooked whole ham or half ham will usually stay good for 3 to 5 days in the fridge and 3 months in the freezer.
  • How to tell if whole ham or half ham is bad? The best way is to smell and look at the whole ham or half ham: signs of bad whole ham or half ham are a sour smell, dull color and slimy texture; discard any whole ham or half ham with an off smell or appearance.

Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please click here

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