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Foods -- Meat and Poultry

Is country-cured ham that is nearly one year safe to eat?

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According to the Food Safety and Inspection Service, a whole, uncut country ham can be stored safely at room temperature for up to one year. After one year, the ham is still safe but the quality might suffer. An uncooked, cut country ham, has a shelf lie of about 2 to 3 months in the refrigerator and one month in the freezer. Yes, it is better to refrigerate cured meats than it is to freeze them. Cooked country ham has a 7-day shelf life in the refrigerator, one month in the freezer.

PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, NC State University in July 2004

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