How To Keep Deli Lunch Meat Fresh Longer

I often get freshly sliced lunch meat from the deli.  I love to make sandwiches with fresh roast beef, turkey (especially honey-roasted turkey), ham, salami and other types of cold cut deli meats.

Before I discovered a new way to keep the lunch meat fresh, the lunch meat would only stay fresh in my refrigerator for up to 3 days.

How do you know when the deli meat is no longer fresh?  The signs of spoiled deli meat are the “off” smell and slimy texture.  When in doubt, throw it out!

When I changed the way I store deli meat, it has been staying fresh for the whole week!

Here’s how I used to store deli meat BEFORE:

  • Just put the package with sliced deli meat from the store in the refrigerator

Here’s how I store deli lunch meat NOW:

  • I throw away all store packaging, especially that nasty wet paper that they use to wrap the lunch meat.  That wet paper is a breeding ground for bacteria!  Then I put the lunch meat in my own new ziploc bag, squeeze the air out and put in the refrigerator.

This simple change resulted in dramatic improvement in how long the deli lunch meat stays fresh in my refrigerator.

Another tip on making the lunch meat stay fresh longer: don’t buy large quantities of deli lunch meat that’s on sale 🙂  If buying the deli lunch meat that’s on sale, get just enough for 1 or 2 days, never more.  Also, don’t forget to smell it before paying for it – if it doesn’t smell right, return it back to the deli.  If the lunch meat is on sale, chances are it’s near the expiration date!  The stores always want to unload the stuff that’s about to get thrown out anyway.

I’ve had so many bad experiences with the deli lunch meat that’s on sale, that I don’t even attempt to buy the meat that’s on sale at the deli.  When it comes to deli lunch meat, I just pay full price for a fresher product.

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4 replies
  1. Robin
    Robin says:

    I agree with your solution to storing deli meat. You can also place a quarter sheet of paper towel between each slice, time consuming I know but I have not had to throw away deli meat since I started doing this.


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