How Long Does Deli Roast Beef Last? How To Tell If It Is Bad?

As a home cook, I tend to cook my meals throughout the day. Whenever I’m too busy, lunch meat becomes handy when I can just put them in my sandwich for lunch. They are super easy to use, but they might not have a long shelf life if you don’t store them properly.

So, how long does deli roast beef last?

Answer: Properly stored, roast beef deli meat will generally keep the best quality for 2 hours room temperature, 3 – 7 days in the fridge and max. 2 months in the freezer. To maximize the deli roast beef’s shelf life, keep the container tightly closed when not using.

Let me show you why the above statements are correct in this article.

How Long Does Deli Roast Beef Last?

How Long Does Deli Roast Beef Last

Deli roast beef is processed meat that is made for longer use than regular meat. However, in each condition, they might have a different shelf life. So,  how long is deli roast beef good for?

Normally, like pulled pork, you can find the expiration date on the original package of an unopened deli roast beef. If there is a use-by date, you should finish the deli roast beef before that date. After that day, the deli beef will not be edible, and you should throw it in the trash.

What if you have opened the package? How long is sliced roast beef good for?

There can be different types of meat that are made for longer usage. However, when they are at room temperature, the roast beef shelf life shrinks to only one-two hours. According to the United States of Agriculture (USDA), the ideal temperature for bacteria to grow rapidly is between 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Therefore, it is recommended to discard the deli beef at room temperature for more than 2 hours. For places with higher temperatures (90 degrees Fahrenheit), you need to throw it away after 1 hour.

How Long Does Deli Roast Beef Last In the Fridge?

In-room temperature, the deli roast beef won’t last more than 2 hours. However, when it is at the cooler temperature, they can last so much longer for your lunch meals. So, how long does roast beef last in fridge?

There are different deli meat types with various shelf life. It is normal to base on the sell-by date. This print signifies the date for the sellers and grocers to get it off the shelf by that date. That means you, as the buyer, will have a few days to finish the meat.

Normally, the cold-cut meats can last for up to 3-7 days in the fridge once it is opened. However, it depends on the meat and your storage method. For those dry pre-packaged lunch meats like salami or pepperoni, they can last so much longer than chicken or beef.

For deli roast beef, as there is more moisture to the meat, it can last from 3 to 5 days in the fridge. This means you need to plan to use it throughout the week so you won’t waste the meat. While storing in the fridge, you need to keep it in a sealed container so that the deli roast beef won’t go bad.

How Long Does Deli Roast Beef Last In the Freezer?

Nowadays, when a disease pandemic takes a long time to completely solve, I think a good house cook will consider keeping the foods last longer as much as possible, right. If you and your family are a big fan of Deli Roast Beef, you will wonder that how long does deli roast beef last in the freezer, right?

The answer will make you surprised, the roast can be last for Max. 2 months with a whole sealed plastic bag or air-tight container in the freezer. Make sure that weekly check its conditions to know is bad or not.

Do you know how to tell if deli roast beef goes bad? If no, let move to the next paragraph; I will show you the signs of bad roast beef.

How To Tell If Deli Roast Beef Is Bad

You have stored it completely in the fridge, and the meat has been around for more than five days. Should you throw bad deli meat out right away?

Maybe, but there might be a chance that you can still use it as long as it doesn’t have these signs of spoilage which can lead to food poisoning. So, how to tell if lunch meat is bad? Find out how to tell if deli meat is bad in these three signs:

Firstly, check the surface of the cold meat. The deli meat tends to be dry in a package. If you spot any wet and slimy surface, there is a high chance that your meat is spoiled. Slimy bad roast beef indicates that the brine is congealing and seeping out of the roast beef. This is not the worst sign, but it is a potential place for yeast and bacteria growth.

At this stage, it is still salvageable if you add a little trick to it. Apparently, you cannot have it straight away on your lunchbox as usual because it is so slimy. Normally, I would just throw it on the pan with some scrambled eggs. I give it some shake and stir to cook them thoroughly, and voila! A tasty result for your full lunch.

The second sign you can find in a spoiled roast beef is a foul odor. Once it has a smelly, sour, or stale smell, it means that the bacteria has grown a lot on the beef, and you should throw them away.

Lastly, there can be some discoloration of the deli meat if it is spoiled. Some deli meat with a high-fat content like bologna or roast beef will become darkened with gray and brown color at the edge areas. In the worst case, the meat will appear some mold spots that indicate the existence of mold or yeast.

How To Store Deli Roast Beef?

As I mentioned above, how long does deli roast beef last depend on how well you store it? You need to keep them in the proper condition to use them more in the future. There are two common ways for you to store food: fridge it or freeze it.

As mentioned above, you can store roast beef in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. Before storing them, you need to put them in an airtight container or plastic wrap to avoid spoiled roast beef.

Once you have finished the preparation, you can leave it in the fridge for longer usage.

So, can you freeze sliced deli meat, or can you freeze deli lunch meat?

Some experts might not recommend freezing deli meat as it can affect the flavor and texture. However, besides those effects, you can freeze roast beef for up to 6 months!

To store them in the freezer, you need to put them in a freezer bag or an airtight bag to avoid freezer burn. One trick for you to thaw them easier is to separate them into sandwich size portions before freezing.

After the preparation, you can specify when you will use this meat on the freezer bag, so it is easy to choose.


1. How To Defrost Deli Roast Beef?

To defrost the meat, you need to thaw the freezing cold cuts in the refrigerator first. This can take about a day to thaw them properly. Another faster way is to place the meat in a bowl of cold water. Change the water frequently until the meat is completely thawed.

2. What Should I Put On My Roast Beef Sandwich?

There are many ways you can enjoy your sandwich meat. The simplest way is just to have it with some salads and mustard. You can also prepare the sauce and garnishes like in this Cuban sandwich recipe.


How To Tell If Roast Is Bad

Luncheon meats or cold cuts are pre-cooked meat that is meant for quick usage. Therefore, their shelf life is not as long as other food in your kitchen.

I hope this post has given you the answer to your question, “how long does deli roast beef last?”. When you know the meat’s duration, it is so much easier to plan your daily meals to utilize all the meats.

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