Deli Meats

How long does deli meat lastThe explosive growth of deli meats in the quick-service restaurant segment--think Subway and Quiznos--is prompting processors and supermarket delis alike to provide consumers with fresher, tastier, and more healthful fare for home consumption.  Today’s deli meats have a leaner protein-to-fat ratio and are more thinly cut, which processors believe imparts greater flavor.

Deli Meats Shelf Life
Lunch Meat, opened**- -3-5 days1-2 months
Lunch Meat, unopened- -2 weeks1-2 months
Corned Beef, uncooked- -5-7 days1-2 months
Corned Beef, cured*- -5-7 days- -
Corned Beef, smoked- -5-7 days- -
Canned Corn Beef, opened- -1 week- -
Canned Corned Beef, unopened1 year- -- -
Handling Tips: 
* Freezing cured meat is not recommended. Saltiness encourages rancidity. If frozen, use within a month.
** Freezing luncheon meat is not recommended. Emulsion may be broken, and product will "weep."
The USDA recommends following the use-by date on lunch meat.
Boyer, Renee, and Julie McKinney. "Food Storage Guidelines for Consumers." Virginia Cooperative Extension (2009): n. pag. Web. 7 Dec 2009.

"Cupboard Storage Chart." K-State Research and Extension n. pag. Web. 23 Dec 2009. <>. "Expired Food:OK to Eat?"

Specific Deli Meats Products


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