How Long Can Ham Sit Out?

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By: Rachae's Nosheri


When it comes to preparing a delicious meal or snack, ham can be a great option. Just slice, serve and enjoy.  But when it comes to food safety, how long can ham sit out? – The short answer is more than 2 hours.

Many factors come into play, so learning about proper storage methods and monitoring time spent outside of refrigeration can help you make sure your next lunchtime creation is as safe as it is tasty. Read on to learn more about how long ham can sit out before becoming unsafe to eat.


How Long Can Ham Sit Out?

The USDA and CDC both recommend that food should not be left at room temperature for more than 2 hours, as temperatures between 40℉ to 140℉ create an ideal environment for bacteria growth.

Additionally, food that has been sitting out for too long can become dangerous, regardless of whether or not the food looks and smells okay. Therefore, it is important to ensure that food is kept at safe temperatures for as long as possible.

Is It Safe to Sit Ham Out Overnight?

How Long Can Ham Sit Out

It is generally not recommended to leave ham at room temperature for an extended period of time, especially overnight, as it can lead to the growth of harmful bacteria that can cause foodborne illness.

If you have ham and ham has been kept at room temperature for over 2 hours, it is essential to dispose of it to avoid any risks of foodborne illness. If the temperature is above 90°F (32°C), then it is recommended to discard the ham after only 1 hour.

To keep ham safe, it should be refrigerated promptly after cooking and kept at a temperature of 40°F (4°C) or below. If you are transporting or storing ham, it should be kept in an insulated cooler with ice or frozen gel packs to maintain a safe temperature.

How to Tell if Ham Has Gone Bad?

How Long Can Ham Sit Out

Ham is a popular type of meat that is enjoyed by many people around the world. However, like all meats, ham can go bad if it is not stored properly or consumed within a certain period of time. Therefore, it is important to know the signs of spoilage to determine if ham has gone bad.

One of the most obvious signs of spoiled ham is a change in its appearance. Any green, black, or gray spots on the surface of the ham are a sign of spoilage, and the ham should be discarded immediately.

Another sign to look out for is a change in texture. If the ham feels slimy, sticky, or excessively soft, it may have gone bad. 

The smell of the ham is also a good indicator of spoilage. If the ham smells sour, putrid, or unpleasant, it could indicate spoilage. 

Finally, taste is another way to determine if ham has gone bad. If you taste the ham and it has a strange or off flavor, it may have spoiled. Any bitterness or sourness is a sign of spoilage.

What Are The Best Methods for Storing Ham?

Storing ham properly is crucial to maintain its quality and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria that can cause foodborne illnesses. Here are some additional tips to keep in mind when storing ham:

Keep the Ham Warm

If you have ham and plan to serve it immediately, you can keep it warm by covering it with foil or placing it in a covered baking dish and setting it in a low-temperature oven (around 200°F or 93°C). You can also use a slow cooker or chafing dish to keep the ham warm. Just be sure to monitor the temperature and keep the ham above 140°F (60°C) to prevent bacteria growth.

Safely Storing Ham Inside the Fridge.

If you have leftover ham, or if you want to store ham for future use, the best way to do it is in the fridge. To store ham, either wrap it firmly using plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or place it in an airtight container.

Freeze Your Ham

Another way to store ham for longer periods of time is to freeze it. Wrap the ham tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or place it in an airtight container. Put a date label on the package of freezing, and use within 2 months for best quality. When you’re ready to use the frozen ham, defrost it in the fridge for 24-48 hours before cooking or serving.

What is The Maximum Time Period For Storing Ham in The Refrigerator?

When stored properly in the refrigerator, ham can last for up to 5 days. To maximize its shelf life, kake sure to wrap it firmly or place it in an airtight container to ensure proper storage.. It is also important to ensure that the ham does not come into contact with raw meats or other foods that could potentially contaminate it.Once opened, the ham should also be used within 3 to 4 days.

If you plan to store ham for an extended period, freezing is the best option. When properly stored in the freezer, ham can last up to 2 months before it starts to lose its quality.


Is It Safe To Eat Ham That Has Been Stored in the Refrigerator for More Than 5 Days?

It is not recommended to consume ham after it has been stored in the fridge for more than 5 days. If you do choose to eat it, be certain to look out for signs of spoilage and ensure that it does not have an off flavor or smell.

How Long Can Ham Sit Out Before It Goes Bad?

Ham should not be left out at ambient temperature for more than 2 hours. After this period, bacteria can start to form and the ham may spoil.

Can Ham Be Frozen?

Yes, ham can be frozen for up to 2 months. Be sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or store it in an airtight container before freezing.

Can You Eat Expired Ham?

It is not recommended to eat expired ham, as it may contain bacteria that can cause foodborne illnesses. If the ham is still within its expiration date, you should check for signs of spoilage before consuming. If there are any signs of spoilage, discard the ham immediately.

What Does Spoiled Ham Taste Like?

Spoiled ham will usually have a sour, bitter, or off flavor. It may also smell unpleasant or putrid. If you experience any of these signs when tasting your ham, discard it immediately.

Can I Use My Ham for Leftovers?

Yes, ham can be used as leftovers. Be sure to store it properly in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze it for longer periods of time. When reheating ham, make sure the internal temperature reaches at least 145°F (63°C) before serving.


It’s safe to say that you should use caution when it comes to keeping ham out of the refrigerator. If you happen to leave your leftovers out on the counter, be sure to eat them as soon as possible – no longer than two hours. 

It’s important to remember that spoiled food can make you very sick, so err on the side of caution and throw out anything that looks or smells strange. If you’re ever unsure about whether your ham is still safe to eat, don’t risk it – throw it away. 

By following these simple steps and keeping track of how long your food sits out, you can ensure a safe and delicious meal for everyone in your household.

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Rachae's Nosheri

Rachael’s Nosheri is a Jewish deli located in 120 S. 19th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103. We serve breakfast and lunch comfort foods and deli sandwiches. Our extensive menu and reasonable prices make us a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. Our food is pretty good if you’re in the mood for deli sandwiches, and we’re known for our American, Bagels, Breakfast, Lunch Specials, and Sandwiches.

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