Can you eat ham 2 days after the use-by date?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “Can you eat ham 2 days after the use-by date” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can eat ham that is 2 days past the use-by date. Moreover, we are going to discuss the shelf life of ham and different ways to spot spoiled ham.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Can you eat ham 2 days after the use-by date?

According to the USDA, you should consume ham before the use-by date, but whether or not you will eat properly stored ham that is two days past the use-by date (stored at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit the entire time) is totally dependent on your judgment (you should do a sensory evaluation of ham).

How to do a sensory evaluation of ham?

There are a few clear indicators that indicate if your ham has gone bad. To determine if the ham has gone bad, look at its appearance, color, texture, and smell.

Appearance

If you see mold or other organic growth on your ham or if it is discolored, it’s time to throw it out.

It’s worth noting that you should avoid smelling moldy ham since molds can produce mycotoxins, which can disturb your gut microflora and damage your immune system if they enter your body by inhalation.

Color

Examining the color of ham might help you identify whether it has rotted or is safe to consume. The outside of good grade, unspoiled ham purchased from the supermarket should be bright red.

However, if the exterior surface of the ham is gray or brown, it should be discarded. This discoloration indicates that it has begun to spoil.

Texture

If you touch the ham and it feels sticky, slimy, or gooey, it’s time to throw it out.

It’s worth noting that after handling the bacterium-laden ham, you should wash your hands well to prevent the bacteria from spreading to anything else that comes into contact with your hands.

Smell

If you smell something sour or ammonia-like while sniffing your ham, it’s time to throw it out.

Lastly, I do not recommend tasting cooked ham with a foul odor, but if you are brave (and silly) enough, you will notice a significant change in the texture and mouthfeel of the spoiled ham. It will have an off-flavor.

Thus, if the microbes have somehow gotten into your ham and spoiled it, the best thing you can do is throw it out.

What are the exceptions of the use-by date rule?

When it comes to the use-by date, you can use ham that is beyond this date if it was properly frozen (before the use-by date). ham can be stored in the freezer for up to four months.

Ham can also be cooked to extend its shelf life a bit.

What is the use-by date?

The ‘use by’ date is the last date on which food can be safely consumed, prepared, or processed after it has been properly stored.

How long can you leave the ham in the fridge?

Raw ham lasts in the fridge for 3-5 days while cooked ham lasts for about 3-4 days if kept at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It should be kept in plastic zipper bags on one of the refrigerator’s shelves.

It’s worth noting that the values given above are for ham’s expected shelf life.

How long does ham last at room temperature?

When kept at room temperature, ham lasts for around 2 hours.

Because bacterial growth occurs at a quicker rate between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, ham left out for more than 2 hours should be discarded.

Furthermore, if the surrounding temperature is around 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the rotting process is accelerated, and ham left out in the open for more than an hour at such temperature should be discarded.

How long does ham last in the freezer?

Raw ham lasts for 6 months while cooked ham lasts for about 3-4 months in the freezer if stored in an airtight plastic freezer bag, although it is best consumed within 1-2 months for the best quality and taste.

As a result, freezing the ham extends its shelf life significantly due to the freezer’s low temperature, which inhibits bacterial growth on the ham.

You can read the benefits of different types of meat here.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “Can you eat ham 2 days after the use-by date” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can eat ham that is 2 days past the use-by date. Moreover, we discussed the shelf life of ham and different ways to spot spoiled ham.

Citations

http://www.eatbydate.com/proteins/meats/ham-shelf-life-expiration-date/#:~:text=Ham%20lasts%20for%201%2D2,hind%20thighs%20of%20a%20hog.

https://qa-faq.com/en/Q%26A/page=ce2b3b7df8fdb487388ca205de154337

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