Bologna deli meat makes cooking so much easier. Most of us stock our freezer with deli meat during the sale. But, how long does deli meat last? Well, it depends on the type of packaging and storage conditions.

Here are the details about the lifespan of deli meat:

  • Unopened fresh bologna deli meat: It will last for 5 to 6 days in a refrigerator.
  • Unopened pre-packaged bologna deli meat: It will last for 7 to 10 days in a fridge and 6 to 8 months in a freezer.
  • Opened fresh bologna deli meat: You cannot keep it for more than 2 hours at room temperature. It will last 5 to 6 days in a fridge and 2 to 3 weeks in a freezer.
  • Opened pre-packaged bologna deli meat: It will last for less than 2 hours at room temperature. In the refrigerator, it will last for 3 to 5 days and in the freezer for 1 to 2 months.

What is deli meat?

Deli meat means pre-cooked meat. This meat is readily available at stores.

This meat is sliced and prepared to make an easy dish.

Most people use sliced deli meat to make sandwiches and pizza.

There are different types of deli meats available in the market.

The best thing about this type of meat is that you don’t have to cook it thoroughly.

It is also known as lunch meat.

Types of bologna deli meats:

Here are some kinds of deli meats.

  • Whole cuts: This type of deli meat is first cooked and then sliced. Example, roast beef, sliced turkey deli meat, chicken breast, etc.
  • Processed Meat: This type of deli meats are preserved by salting, curing, or smoking the meat. Sometimes preservatives are also added. For example, a hot dog.
  • Pressed Meat: This type of meat is pressed. There is 66% meat along with water, thickeners, and salt to bind the meat together. It is pressed together and given shape.

How to tell if bologna deli meat has gone bad?

Here are a few signs to tell that the meat has gone bad.

  • Slimy: The meat surface will become slimy and sticky.
  • Sour Smell: It will smell like rotten or stale meat.
  • Discoloration: The original color of the flesh will change. It will become dark.
  • Mold: You will notice mold appearing on top of the meat.

How to properly store bologna deli meat?

No matter what type of deli meat you are using, do not keep it at room temperature for more than 2 hours. After use, immediately keep the package into the freezer.

The leftover can also be kept in the freezer.

Unopened lunch meat can be directly kept inside the freezer.

If the package is opened, cover it adequately and then store it in the freezer.

If you want to keep leftover deli meat, then keep it in a tight container and then store it in the freezer.

It is advisable to store it in the freezer or fridge.

To extend the lifespan, always keep it inside the freezer as it will only last for a few days in the fridge.

In the freezer, it will last for months.

What to do if you have eaten a bad bologna deli meat?

If you have eaten bad deli meat, you might suffer from food poisoning.

You will have symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and fatigue.

If the symptoms are terrible, immediately go to a doctor.

They will treat you with medicines and IV.


So, this is how you can store deli meat properly. This meat is not meant for keeping at room temperature. Always store it in the freezer.



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