How long can vacuum-sealed country ham last?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How long can vacuum-sealed country ham last” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of vacuum-sealed country ham. Moreover, we are going to discuss the different ways to spot spoiled vacuum-sealed country ham.

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

How long does vacuum-sealed country ham last in the fridge?

Vacuum-sealed country ham lasts in the fridge for about 2 weeks if kept at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit on one of the shelves of the refrigerator. Once unpacked, country ham lasts for about 7 days (but it is better to use it within 3-5 days) when stored in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag.

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

What is the best temperature to keep vacuum-sealed country ham at?

Vacuum sealed country ham should be kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower at all times. Bacterial development is more rapid between the temperatures of 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore it’s best to keep your vacuum-sealed country ham at a lower temperature to keep it fresh for longer.

How long does vacuum-sealed country ham last at room temperature?

When kept at room temperature, vacuum-sealed country ham lasts for around 2 hours.

Because bacterial growth occurs at a quicker rate between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, vacuum-sealed country 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 vacuum-sealed country ham left out in the open for more than an hour at such temperature should be discarded.

How long does vacuum-sealed country ham last in the freezer?

Vacuum-sealed country ham lasts for 2-3 years in the freezer.

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

How to defrost frozen vacuum-sealed country ham?

You can quickly defrost frozen vacuum-sealed country ham by placing it in the refrigerator overnight, and thawed vacuum-sealed country ham can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days before reheating/cooking and consuming it.

If you’re defrosting frozen vacuum-sealed country ham in a bowl of cold water, the microwave, or on the counter, you should utilize it right away after reheating/cooking it till its internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to vacuum seal country ham at home? 

You may even vacuum seal your country ham at home to extend its shelf life. It involves placing the country ham in a plastic zipper bag, eliminating the air, then nearly sealing the bag with a small amount of space remaining while lowering it into water.

After that, start pressing out the bubbles starting from the bag’s bottom and work your way up to the sealed end, closing the bag’s seal. 

A vacuum sealer pump can also be used to easily vacuum seal country ham at home.

Is it possible to refrigerate the reheated country ham?

Once the previously cooked refrigerated/frozen country ham has been reheated, it should never be refrigerated again. Because the temperature of the country ham goes above 40 degrees Fahrenheit when reheated and we know that bacteria develops rapidly between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. 

As a result, bacteria will make their way into your country ham, and reheated country ham should never be refrigerated, rather it is better to consume it completely or otherwise discard the reheated leftovers properly.

What are different ways to spot spoiled vacuum-sealed country ham?

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

Appearance

If you see mold or other organic growth on your vacuum-sealed country ham or if it has turned gray, green, or brown, it’s time to throw it out.

Texture

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

Smell

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

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

How to properly store country ham?

  1. Because the temperature swings a lot near the fridge door, it’s best to put your vacuum-sealed country ham on one of the shelves rather than the door.
  1. To keep the freshness of vacuum-sealed country ham after opening the package, place the remaining country ham in an airtight container or plastic zipper bag.
  1. Because microscopic organisms grow quickly at temperatures between 40°F and 140°F, it is best to refrigerate the cooked country ham within 2 hours it is cooked in airtight containers to extend its shelf life while keeping its quality.
  1. If you wish to extend the shelf life of country ham, keep it in an airtight container in the freezer. Country ham that has been frozen at 0°C is safe to use for extremely long periods.
  1. Cooked country ham should be stored in shallow compact containers to allow it to cool quickly.

You can read how to prepare country ham here.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “How long can vacuum-sealed country ham last” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of vacuum-sealed country ham. Moreover, we discussed the different ways to spot spoiled vacuum-sealed country ham.

Citations

https://extension.arizona.edu/sites/extension.arizona.edu/files/pubs/az1089.pdf
https://askinglot.com/how-long-does-vacuum-sealed-ham-last-in-the-fridge

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