When you think of lunch meat, you may not realize that all the different ways it's packaged may extend or shorten its shelf (or in this case, refrigerator) life.

Fresh Cut Lunch Meats

Fresh cut lunch meat from the deli counter at your grocery store lasts about 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Packaged Lunch Meat

Vacuum sealed packaged lunch meat lasts until the expiration date on the package as long as it is unopened. Once opened, the meat can be kept in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.

Bottom Line

Lunch meat spoils quickly. If your lunch meat smells or looks bad, it is best to throw it away, regardless of how long it has been in the refrigerator.