How long will Spam last after opening the can?
April 20, 2014 - Food
How long will Spam last after opening the can? I’m not talking about interpreting the expiration dates on the can, or finding 10-year old spam in the trunk of your car, I’m talking how long is Spam good for after you’ve opened it, taken it out and have properly stored it (ziplock or container with lid or wax paper). In this case, how long will Spam be good?
What is Spam Made Out Of?
Spam is made by Hormel, and the main ingredients in this infamous meat is a combination pork with ham, salt, water, potato starch, and sugar.
Then you have some artificial ingredients (Sodium Phosphates, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Ascorbate, and Sodium Nitrate) that are added to preserve the meat over time, maintain the texture, and keep that juicy, pink hue. During the canning of preserved meats, there is high heat applied in the process and salt added to help maintain and preserve it while it’s in the can. Then it’s vacuum-sealed. That’s why canned meat can be “good” for a long time.
How Long is Spam Good For After Opening?
So how long does Spam last after it’s out of the can?
On the bottom of the Spam can, there’s a “BEST BY” date, but no instructions can be found about how long Spam will last after the it has been taken out of the can.
After some searching around, I came across Spam’s official website. Their Spam 101 section refers to the BEST BY date, but doesn’t mention anything about Spam after it’s been open.
A little more digging and I came across Hormel.com (the company behind Spam). The site offers this general best practice for meat products:
How long can I use my refrigerated meat products after I’ve opened the package? The general rule is to use the product within three to five days and keep it refrigerated after opening.
So 3-5 days is the official answer from Hormel on “refrigerated meat products.” It’s a little disappointing that they don’t have a proper answer for Spam.
We all know Spam isn’t just any kind of meat (for better or worse), so I looked a little deeper and found EatBydate.com specifically referring to Spam being good for 7-10 days after being opened and stored in the refrigerator – the same as canned corned beef and deviled ham.
This sounds like a better answer. There could be a few reasons why Hormel isn’t so specific with their recommendations:
- Better safe than sorry
- Treating it like regular meat to take away any stigma about Spam
- Hormel wants you to buy more Spam by suggesting it expires earlier than it actually does.
In any case, I feel confident that opened Spam, when stored and refrigerated correctly is good for up to 10 days.
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