Food Storage - How long can you keep...

CHICKEN DELI MEAT / COLD CUTS - SLICED AT GROCERY DELI COUNTER

Refrigerator
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3-5 days
Freezer
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1-2 months

Tips

  • How long does sliced chicken deli meat last in the fridge? The exact answer to that question depends to a large extent on storage conditions - keep chicken deli meat (also known as lunch meat, luncheon meat or cold cuts) refrigerated at all times.
  • To maximize the shelf life of chicken deli meat after opening, keep refrigerated in airtight containers or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
  • Properly stored, sliced chicken deli meat will last for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.
  • How long can chicken deli meat be left at room temperature? Bacteria grow rapidly at temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F; chicken deli meat should be discarded if left out for more than 2 hours at room temperature.
  • To further extend the shelf life of chicken deli meat, freeze it; when freezing, place chicken deli meat in the freezer before the number of days shown for refrigerator storage has elapsed.
  • You can maximize the shelf life of chicken deli meat 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 chicken deli meat last in the freezer? Properly stored, it will maintain best quality for 1 to 2 months, but will remain safe beyond that time.
  • How long does chicken deli meat last after being frozen and thawed? Sliced chicken deli meat that has been defrosted in the fridge can be kept for an additional 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator before using; sliced chicken deli meat that was thawed in the microwave or in cold water should be used immediately.
  • The freezer time shown is for best quality only - chicken deli meat that has been kept constantly frozen at 0°F will keep safe indefinitely.
  • How can you tell if chicken deli meat is bad or spoiled? The best way is to smell and look at the meat: discard any chicken deli meat with a slimy surface, off smell or appearance; do not taste first.

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

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