How Long Does Vacuum Sealed Ham Last in the Fridge? Solved!

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Along with bacon, ham is frequently consumed as a breakfast food and is regarded as one of the most well-liked varieties of pork meat. It is also capable of being smoked or not smoked, cured or not cured, and combined with a variety of other seasonings and ingredients to produce a wide range of flavors.

When you buy them from the store, they are typically vacuum-packed and packaged in plastic so that they remain fresh for as long as possible.

By removing oxygen from the packaging of the meat and preventing bacteria from growing, as well as stopping chemical reactions that cause food to go bad, vacuum-sealing the meat makes it possible to keep it fresh for a significantly longer period of time.

This method is also beneficial to the preservation of processed meats such as ham. But how long can they be stored in the refrigerator before they go bad?

How Long Does Vacuum Sealed Ham Last in the Fridge?

In the refrigerator, ham that has been vacuum-sealed will keep for two weeks if it has not been opened, but only for three to five days after it has been opened. If the use-by date is printed on an unopened package of ham, the ham must be consumed before the date that is printed on the package.

How Long Can I Store My Vacuum Sealed Ham In The Fridge?

It is possible for the shelf life to differ from one variety of ham to another, as well as depending on whether the ham is fresh or cured, as well as how it was packed or wrapped.

Ham that has not been cured and is either cooked or left uncooked may be stored in the refrigerator for three to five days without losing its quality. In the absence of a “use-by” date, the shelf life of cured ham, regardless of whether it has been cooked or not, ranges from three to seven days. When purchased and properly wrapped at the shop, a whole ham has a shelf life of somewhere between three and five days.

Therefore, ham can only be stored in the refrigerator for approximately one week at the most, but by vacuum sealing it, its shelf life may be significantly extended.

A ham that has not been opened and is vacuum-sealed may be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or until the “use-by” date that is printed on the box, whichever comes first. The product’s shelf life is reduced to the typical range of three to five days after it has been opened.

This is due to the fact that germs, mold, and other potentially harmful organisms are prevented from entering both the meat and the box while it is being vacuum-sealed. Once the seal has been broken, oxygen and the microorganisms that cause food to go bad may easily enter the container.

Even while vacuum sealing ham preserves it and extends its shelf life, it will not keep the ham fresh indefinitely. The amount of time something may be kept in the refrigerator depends on how it is stored as well as whether or not it has been opened.

How Long Does Vacuum Sealed Ham Last in the Freezer?

In the refrigerator, ham will maintain its quality for about a week on average. Where do we stand with the freezer?

According to the USDA, ham can be stored in the freezer for an infinite amount of time, regardless of the type and regardless of whether it has been cooked or not. However, in order to ensure the highest possible quality of the meat, it is best to adhere to certain timeframes.

The cooked variety of ham should not be frozen for longer than three to four months at the most, while fresh ham that has not been cooked has a shelf life of approximately six months.

In the same manner, cured, uncooked ham has a shelf life of three to four months in the freezer, whereas cooked ham only has a shelf life of one to two months.

It is recommended that any other cooked types of ham, including those that have been vacuum-sealed, be kept in the freezer for no longer than two months at a time.

This, of course, is under the assumption that the ham has been adequately preserved by being sealed in airtight containers after being wrapped in aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

What is Ham?

Ham is a type of pork meat that has been processed and is typically made from the animal’s hind legs. In common usage, the term refers to both the whole leg as well as portions that have been sliced and packaged.

Ham can either be eaten fresh (meaning it has not been cured) or cured by being salted and dried. It can be smoked or consumed without being smoked.

It is a type of processed meat and, similar to bacon, it is a breakfast food that is always present at restaurants. Ham is prepared using pork legs, while bacon is created using either the back or the belly of the pig.

Types of Ham

Ham can be classified into three types.

1. City Ham

The most common variety of ham is known as a city ham. These are the kinds that are typically sold in supermarkets and other retail outlets. They are either uncooked or pre-cooked and ready to eat, depending on whether or not they have been “wet-cured” using a brining solution.

2. Country Hams

Dry curing, smoking, and lengthy aging are the hallmarks of traditional country ham preparation. They are typically sold in their raw state and can be difficult to locate. They have a reputation for being extremely salty and dry in some varieties, but they still have a large fan base.

3. Fresh Ham

The term “fresh ham” refers to ham that has not been cured, processed, or cooked in any way, and fresh ham is always clearly labeled as such. It is also sometimes referred to as “green ham.”

Because it has not been seasoned and has not been cooked, you would have a greater amount of leeway in selecting the types of seasonings that you would like to add to it in order to create your own personalized ham.

It is common knowledge that a lot of people have a thing for ham in general, and this preference does not change regardless of the variety of ham being discussed.

Purpose of Vacuum Packing Ham and Other Food

One of the primary objectives of human society has always been to extend the time that food can be stored and to increase its availability.

For this reason, there is evidence that people even thousands of years ago invented multiple ways to preserve their food to ensure that they would always have something to eat regardless of the circumstances.

It is believed that the oldest ways of preserving food include drying it out in the sun, storing it in salt or vinegar, and fermenting it. These methods have been around for thousands of years and are considered to be the most effective.

In the roughly one hundred years that have passed since the invention of refrigeration, canning, and vacuum-sealing, significant progress has been made in the preservation of food.

Our food is much less likely to become contaminated and has a longer shelf life than it did in the past.

What is Vacuum Packing?

Before a package is sealed, the oxygen inside of it must first be removed through the process of vacuum packing. Karl Busch, a German inventor, came up with the idea in the 1950s and thought it might be a way to extend the shelf life of food. He patented the idea.

When all of the oxygen is removed from a package, it deprives mold and bacteria of something that is necessary for their continued existence. Without oxygen, they have no chance of surviving, much less thriving. If you remove this from the surrounding environment or the packaging, you ensure that the microorganisms will not have the opportunity to act on the food and cause it to go bad.

By removing oxygen from food, one can prevent certain chemical reactions that hasten the process of food spoilage and deterioration, thereby extending the shelf life of the food.

In addition to extending the time that food can remain fresh and extending its shelf life, vacuum packaging also:

  • Defends food against getting freezer burn.
  • Maintains the flavor and texture of the meal
  • Minimizes cross-contamination
  • Helps cut down on waste
  • Creates more room in the refrigerator and freezer.

Vacuum packaging not only prevents food from going bad and extends the amount of time it can be stored, but it also has additional benefits, including the ability to maintain the food’s original state, minimize the amount of food that is wasted, and maximize the amount of space that can be used.

Vacuum Packed vs Plastic Wrap

On occasion, we come across meat that is packaged in plastic, but the packaging does not constitute what one would call a vacuum seal. Is this safe to do, and will it also make the meat last for a longer period of time?

Meats sold in grocery stores and other retail establishments typically come packaged in plastic. Although it does provide some level of physical protection for the meat, it does not prevent the growth of mold or bacteria because it still allows oxygen to pass through the package. Since conventional plastic film does not prevent the entry of oxygen, the food will continue to spoil in the typical manner.

When possible, opt for vacuum-packed meat because it has a longer shelf life and performs better than other packaging methods at preventing the growth of harmful bacteria and other microorganisms in food.

However, this does not imply that it is immune to every kind of infectious agent or that it will be effective indefinitely. You are still required to refrigerate your meat and store it in the appropriate manner.

How To Tell If Ham Has Gone Bad

Your ham will eventually deteriorate and become inedible even if it was stored in the best possible conditions. So how do you determine whether or not it is finally time to get rid of it?

Expiry Date

On the label of virtually all pre-packaged meat, you’ll find either a “use-by” or “best-before” date. If the use-by date on your ham has passed, or if it has been more than a week since the sell-by date, it is best to throw it away rather than run the risk of getting a food-borne illness from eating it.


Ham can be a variety of colors, ranging from light beige to light pink, rose, or mahogany in appearance. It is best to dispose of it if there are any other colors, such as green, black, or gray, or if there is visible mold or spots that are not typical, as doing so will ensure the best outcome.


When meat has gone bad, it will have a smell that is off-putting and sulfuric, and you will be able to tell immediately. If your ham smells like this or has any other odd odors, it is best to throw it away rather than eat it.


If the texture of your ham has changed to become slimy or it has become sticky, this is a sign that it has gone bad and you should get a new package of ham.

Risks Of Eating Spoiled Ham

A ham that has gone bad will not at all be enjoyable to eat in any way. In addition to this, you are putting yourself at risk for a food-borne illness, which could result in a more serious condition.

Consuming meat that has gone bad or been tainted with bacteria puts you at risk of developing symptoms such as the following:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Stomach pain and cramps
  • Muscle aches
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Cognitive problems

Even though the majority of these symptoms will go away on their own, there is always the possibility that they will become more severe, particularly if you are an individual who lacks a healthy immune system.

It is preferable to always be cautious and prudent with what we consume, and it is preferable to always ensure that food, especially meat, is handled and stored in the appropriate manner.

It is in all of our best interests to make decisions about the foods that we eat using our senses and good judgment, and to accept personal responsibility for our own health.

Conclusion to How Long Does Vacuum Sealed Ham Last in the Fridge?

As long as it is kept in the appropriate environment, an unopened package of vacuum-sealed ham will keep in the refrigerator for two weeks, or until the best-by date indicated by the manufacturer, whichever comes first.

However, once the package is opened, the remaining shelf life is only about three to five days in the refrigerator.

If you want your ham to keep for a longer period of time, you might consider freezing it instead of storing it in the refrigerator. Ham, whether cooked or uncooked, can be stored safely in the freezer for a number of months as long as it is packaged and organized appropriately.

Frequently Asked Questions to How Long Does Vacuum Sealed Ham Last in the Fridge?

What is Ham?

The pork hind legs are used in the production of ham, which is a type of processed pork meat. It can be smoked or left unsmoked, as well as brined (using brine) or dry-cured (using salt and other seasonings), and it can be either wet- or dry-cured. Ham that falls under the category of “fresh ham” has not been smoked, cured, or flavored in any way.

Can I Store Vacuum Packed Ham in the Freezer?

Ham that has been vacuum-packed and stored in the freezer will keep for anywhere between one and two months.

Why Are Meats Vacuum Packed?

Before the package can be sealed, the oxygen inside of it must first be removed using vacuum packing. The removal of oxygen from a food storage environment inhibits the growth of mold and bacteria, which in turn slows down the process of food going bad.

Is Ham The Same As Bacon?

Both ham and bacon are products that originate from pork. They are subjected to curing as well as processing. Ham is meat that comes from the pig’s hind legs, while bacon is made from the pig’s belly or back. Both of these parts of the pig are used in the processing of bacon.

How long can vacuum sealed ham last in the fridge?

About one week

Refrigeration is required for hams that are either vacuum-packaged or wrapped in plastic. A ham that has been wrapped in plastic will stay fresh for approximately one week. It is recommended that a ham that has been vacuum-packaged be consumed by the “use by” date or within one week after the “sell by” date, whichever comes first.