How Long Does Shelf-Stable Canned Ham Last Once Opened?


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3-4 days
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2-3 months


Shelf Life Tips

  • How long does a can of shelf-stable ham last once opened? The precise answer depends to a large extent on storage conditions - keep opened ham refrigerated and tightly covered.
  • To maximize the shelf life of canned ham after opening, refrigerate in a covered glass or plastic container.
  • How long does opened canned ham last in the refrigerator? Ham that has been continuously refrigerated will keep for about 3 to 4 days.
  • Is canned ham safe to use after the "expiration" date on the package? Yes, provided it has been stored properly, the package is undamaged, and there are no signs of spoilage (see below) - commercially packaged ham will typically carry a "Best By," "Best if Used By," "Best Before", or "Best When Used By" date but this is not a safety date, it is the manufacturer's estimate of how long the ham will remain at peak quality.
  • To further extend the shelf life of opened canned ham, freeze it: to freeze canned ham, place inside covered airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags.
  • How long does canned ham last in the freezer? Properly stored, it will maintain best quality for about 3 months, but will remain safe beyond that time.
  • The freezer time shown is for best quality only – canned ham that has been kept constantly frozen at 0°F will keep safe indefinitely.
  • How long does canned ham last after being frozen and thawed? Canned ham that has been defrosted in the fridge can be kept for an additional 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator before using; ham that was thawed in the microwave or in cold water should be used immediately.
  • How can you tell if opened canned ham is bad or spoiled? The best way is to smell and look at the ham: if the ham develops an off odor, flavor or appearance, or if mold appears, it should be discarded.
  • Discard all ham from cans or packages that are leaking, rusting, bulging or severely dented.

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

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