Spam is a popular canned meat product that has been enjoyed by people for decades. It is a versatile food that can be eaten on its own, used in sandwiches, or added to recipes as a flavorful ingredient. However, one common question that many people have is how long Spam lasts after opening the can.
The answer to this question largely depends on how the Spam is stored after opening. But it would typically take around 3 to 7 days before you see any signs of spoilage in the product. As such, a properly stored Spam in a refrigerator will stay fresh for quite a while before you have to throw it away.
By understanding how long Spam lasts after opening and how to store it correctly, you can avoid wasting food and ensure that your meals are both safe and delicious.
So whether you’re a fan of this canned meat or trying it out for the first time, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to get the most out of your Spam.
Signs of Spoilage or Degradation in Spam
While Spam can remain good for up to 7 days after opening, it is still incredibly important to look for signs of spoilage and avoid the risk of food poisoning.
If you observe any of the signs below, it’s best to err on the side of caution and dispose of the Spam immediately, even if it hasn’t been a week since you opened it.
- Discoloration: Before you cook the Spam, try to look for any unusual color changes in the meat, such as gray or green spots. Any form of discoloration is a great indication that the product has started to spoil.
- Texture changes: Another sign that you have to look out for concerns the texture of the meat. If it has become slimy or mushy, it is very likely that the product has gone bad and needs to be discarded right away.
- Foul odor: If you notice an unusual or unpleasant smell emanating from the can or the meat itself, it’s a clear sign that the product has gone bad. Do not take any chances and assume that the Spam is safe to eat after frying. You would be better off just buying a new one from the market.
- Mold growth: If you notice any mold growth on the surface of the meat, it is a clear indication that the product has gone bad. If only one side is moldy, you can try to cut away a good chunk from that part and cook the rest.
Mold cannot penetrate dense food very much. So as long as you avoid scraping the mold off and remain extremely prudent about which parts are still consumable, you should be fine.
Proper Storage Tips for Spam
Properly storing Spam is crucial to maintaining its quality, freshness, and safety for as long as possible. Like every canned good available in the market, a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, heat sources, and humidity is the ideal location to store Spam.
Once opened, it’s crucial to transfer your Spam to an airtight container or resealable plastic bag to prevent exposure to air and moisture.
Another alternative is to cover the opened can with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator. Just be mindful of the date that it was opened so you can track how long it has been in storage.
Lastly, make sure that your Spam reaches an internal temperature of 165°F when you are reheating it to ensure that it’s safe to consume. By following these storage tips, you can extend the shelf life of Spam and greatly reduce your chances of getting food poisoning.
Factors That Affect the Shelf Life of Spam
The shelf life of Spam can be influenced by various factors that affect its quality, freshness, and safety. Here are some of the most common factors:
- Preservatives used in Spam: Spam contains various preservatives that help extend its shelf life. However, these preservatives can only do so much, and they eventually break down over time.
- Exposure to air and moisture: Air and moisture are common factors that promote the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms in food, including Spam. Aside from accelerating the spoilage of your canned meat, these factors can also cause foodborne illnesses, so you should keep them in mind.
- Temperature changes and fluctuations: Spam should be stored at a stable temperature to maintain its quality and safety. The ideal temperature range for storing Spam is between 40°F and 85°F.
Any temperature changes and fluctuations outside of this range can affect the preservatives in the product, leading to spoilage.
- Frequency of opening and closing the can or container: Every time you open and close the can, you expose the Spam to air and moisture, which will inevitably shorten its shelf life. Therefore, it’s essential to use the product as soon as possible after opening it and to store any unused portion properly.
Understanding how to properly store and handle Spam is critical for maintaining its quality, safety, and shelf life. The guidelines presented in this article are tried-and-true methods that will guarantee your Spam stays fresh and flavorful for as long as possible.
Just be mindful of any signs of spoilage or degradation and discard any Spam that has exceeded its recommended storage time or shows any indications. By doing so, you can continue enjoying this versatile and delicious canned meat for many days to come.