Ask Mary: Lunch Meat
How long can lunch meat stay in my refrigerator?
Lunch meats are loaded with salts and preservatives, helping them to stay safe and tasty longer. However, the best rule of thumb is still to buy deli meats fresh after just a few days. If the meat is bought from the deli counter, it will typically last about three to four days in the refrigerator. If you buy it at the grocery store prepackaged it will last around 1½ weeks, sometimes longer. Always check the label if you’re uncertain. Some unsliced meats can be kept for about three weeks, but to be honest, I wouldn’t eat any type of lunch meats after a couple of days. Better to be safe and eat fresh!