How Long Does Deli Turkey Breast Last In The Fridge?

You only have a small window when storing meat in the refrigerator before it starts to deteriorate. It might even spoil if you keep it in there for too long. So how long does sliced turkey stay fresh in the fridge before needing to be thrown out?

Once you’ve opened a package of deli meat, or if you’ve purchased it sliced from the deli counter, it’s best to use it within three to five days. Packaged lunch meats come with a best before date. It’s best to consume the meat on or before this date or freeze it in its unopened package.

How Long Does Sliced Turkey Last in the Fridge?

After cooking, cooked turkey thighs, wings, and drumsticks should keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. If the sliced turkey was vacuum-sealed, it might last a few extra days, but once the package is opened, you should eat the meat within a week.

How Long Does Sliced Turkey Breast Last In The Fridge Before Going Bad?

If you store your turkey breast properly, you can keep it for three to four days in the refrigerator.

The refrigerator must be used to store all meat products, including sliced turkey, at a temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Meat that has spent more than two hours in the “danger zone” between 40 and 140 degrees may contain harmful bacteria.

The turkey breast should be refrigerated to prevent these bacteria from growing too quickly. However, after a few days the meat will begin to show signs of spoilage (see below), so it’s best to eat it as soon as you can.

Can You Freeze Sliced Turkey?

There may be times when you have more leftover turkey than your family can eat in a 4-day period. Try freezing the meat instead if you think this will happen.

Turkey slices can be safely frozen for however long you need to. However, there are a few additional considerations you should make.

Meat loses a lot of moisture when it is cooked. Because of this, you’ll notice that a large cut of meat like beef brisket weighs significantly less after being cooked than it did before it was prepared.

The effect of exposure to freezing temperatures, which is 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below, is to further dry out the meat. Therefore, you must take precautions to ensure that cooked meat stored in the freezer won’t be overly dry when it’s time to reheat it.

Plastic wrap the sliced turkey first, then cover it with a second layer of aluminum foil. Instead, you can place the slices in a zip-top bag that is freezer-safe. Put the contents and the current date on the package’s label. Set the package in the freezer.

Don’t keep sliced turkey in the freezer for more than two months for the best results. The day before you intend to eat it, remove it from the freezer and let it thaw overnight. If you reheat it with a little bit of gravy or sauce, the texture will be better.

As soon as you know you won’t be eating the turkey anytime soon, try to freeze it. It will spoil sooner after thawing the longer you keep it in the refrigerator.

What About Deli Turkey?

Similar rules apply if you’re talking about sliced turkey from the deli as opposed to slices of turkey you’ve prepared yourself. The meat should still keep for 3 to 4 days.

Remember that when you slice a turkey, more of the surface area is exposed to the air than if the meat were still whole. That’s what hastens bacteria growth.

By properly wrapping deli turkey and your own smoked turkey slices in plastic wrap or storing them in airtight containers, you can extend their shelf life. Try to cram as many slices as you can into each package. The goal is to minimize exposure to the air.

To keep processed deli turkey fresher for longer, some of it is sold in vacuum-sealed packages. This type of turkey must be consumed within seven days of opening the package.

After about a week, vacuum-packed turkey may still be safe to consume. However, you’re bound to notice a decline in quality. Any meat that has been exposed to air for a week or more should be thrown out out of caution.

What About Dark Meat?

If you have leftover drumsticks and thigh meat, those should keep for up to 4 days as well. Since the dark meat is higher in fat than the turkey breast, it will also keep better in the freezer.

We enjoy incorporating the leftover white and dark meat from roasted turkey into hearty stews or pot pies. The dish is more complex due to the contrast of textures, and the gravy stops the meat from drying out in the refrigerator.

For smoked turkey, you can use the same method, but be aware that the dish will have a smoky flavor. We’ve discovered that it’s preferable to consume leftover smoked turkey on its own, especially the drumsticks, which taste fantastic when warmed up.

How To Tell When Sliced Turkey is Bad

Giving the meat a good sniff is the best way to determine whether your sliced turkey is still fresh.

When meat goes bad, it develops a foul odor. Although it typically smells like sulfur or rotten eggs, the aroma could also be overly sweet or sour. Basically, it’s time to discard the turkey if it smells anything other than cooked turkey meat.

Spoiled sliced turkey might also be discolored in spots. Meat that has turned grayish means it is no longer fresh. Meanwhile, green or blue spots indicate that mold has started to grow on the turkey. In either case, discard the meat immediately.

In both raw and cooked meats, a slimy texture is frequently an indication of spoilage. Having said that, some deli turkeys come out of the package with a light film on them.

This frequently indicates that the safe lactobacillus bacteria have already started eating the sugars used by the processors to flavor the meat. You should be fine as long as the turkey still smells good and you consume it within 7 days of opening the package.

On the other hand, you should toss the turkey if the package has been open for more than a week or if it smells a little off. Likewise, if your just-cooked turkey starts to develop a slimy coating, it’s probably bad.

Does Reheating Sliced Turkey Destroy Bacteria?

Reheating turkey will kill off some bacteria. Therefore, it is preferable to reheat leftovers before eating them, even though the meat should still be safe to eat as long as it was promptly chilled.

However, if the meat was left unrefrigerated for longer than 2 hours, reheating it won’t be sufficient to kill off all the toxins created by the bacteria. In temperatures exceeding 90 degrees, this window shortens to a single hour.

The bacteria that produce these heat-resistant toxins can result in life-threatening illness. For instance, gastrointestinal distress brought on by Staphylococcus aureus (also known as “staph”) may include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

It’s possible that the meat doesn’t contain any of these toxins at all. The problem is that there’s no way to be sure. If the turkey has been left outside for an extended period of time, your only safe option is to throw it away.

Cooking a fresh turkey at home and using it to make salads, soups, and sandwiches has some undeniable advantages. But if you only need a small amount, sliced deli turkey is also a practical choice.

Try to only purchase as much pre-sliced turkey as you will require for one or two days. If you’ve made your own turkey and have excess leftovers, freeze the meat as soon as you can to store it for a future meal.

Best of luck, and happy grilling!


Is deli turkey good after 10 days?

Prepackaged lunch meat can usually be eaten seven to ten days after the sell-by date. Once open, however, it should be eaten within five days. Additionally, freshly cut deli meat must be consumed within five days.

How long is deli turkey good in the fridge?

You can store lunch meats after opening a package or purchasing sliced lunch meats at a deli for three to five days. Keep your refrigerator at 40 °F or less). For best quality, these meats can also be frozen for one to two months. Frozen foods are safe indefinitely (kept at 0 °F).

How long does turkey breast cold cuts last in the fridge?

Although some of these goods have preservatives to increase shelf life, once packaged cold cuts are opened, they only remain fresh for three to five days. If properly stored, freshly sliced cold cuts from the deli last 1-3 days. Make sure to place them in the refrigerator’s coldest section and store them in an airtight plastic bag.

How long does deli smoked turkey breast last in the fridge?

Once opened, use within 7 days.