How Long Is Spam Good For In The Fridge

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Spam is a canned meat that is a popular item in many pantries because of its extended shelf-life. If spam is an ingredient you use in your home, you would need to know how to store it properly, so you get to enjoy it all before it goes bad.

Kept in the original, unopened can, Spam can last for a long time, but this changes once it is opened.

Once opened, how long is Spam good for in the fridge? Once the can of Spam has been opened, and if the Spam is kept in an airtight container in the fridge, then it will last for up to ten days at a push. It is best to use it within seven days, but you can look for signs of spoiling before ten days to make sure.

The way the Spam is stored will affect how long it lasts in the refrigerator, so read on to find out the best storage tips, and how to tell whether Spam is still okay to eat.

Does Spam Expire?

When looking at the labels on a can of Spam, you will notice that most, if not all, have a best-by date, rather than an expiry date.

This is because Spam, kept in the right conditions, can last for a very long time. Once the best-by date has gone, the Spam will likely decline in quality, but this does not mean that it will spoil straight away.

However, it is still a food product, and there is always a risk of it expiring and spoiling, especially if it is exposed to moisture or bacteria, which can happen if the can it is in is dented or compromised.

While Spam going bad is rare, you should still look for signs that it has spoiled before eating it, especially if it has been tucked away in the cupboard for quite some time, and if it has passed its best-by date.

How Long Does Spam Last In The Fridge?

Spam will come with an expiration date or a best-by date on the container, and it is a good idea to take note of these dates, so you can enjoy the Spam before it begins to spoil, or as with the case of a best-by date, before it starts losing its best quality.

However, if the Spam is still within these dates, they will not mean much once the Spam has been opened.

The Spam will begin to decline in quality much quicker once opened, and you cannot rely on these dates anymore.

Once Spam has been opened, it needs to be placed in the refrigerator. The manufacturers recommend that it only be kept in the fridge for between five days to be safe, but as Spam is cured, it can last for between seven and ten days in the fridge.

It might lose some of its better taste and texture after five days, but if it shows no signs of spoiling, then you should still be able to use the Spam safely within ten days.

Just make sure to keep the Spam in an airtight container, sealed properly in the fridge.

Tips To Store Spam In The Fridge

How well you store the Spam in the fridge after opening it will directly affect how long the Spam can last for. Here are some tips to store Spam in the fridge, to keep it at better quality for longer:

  • Remove the leftover Spam from the can and place it into a clean airtight sealable container, or into a plastic freezer bag, squeezing out all the air before sealing, and place it in the fridge.
  • Label the container or freezer bag with the date of refrigeration, so you can be sure to use it within the right amount of time.
  • Make sure that the container seals tightly, as you don’t want the Spam to create an odor in your fridge.
  • Store Spam near the back of the fridge to keep it extra cold.

Following these steps will help you get the most of your Spam, and ensure none goes to waste!

Can You Freeze Spam?

Read my full guide on freezing spam here.

If you have some leftover Spam and do not think that you will use it within ten days, then it is a good idea to freeze the leftovers as soon as possible.

To freeze Spam, you should remove the meat from the can and either place it in an airtight, freezer-safe container, or a resealable plastic freezer bag. You can also wrap the Spam in aluminum foil and plastic wrap for extra protection.

Make sure to label the container or packaging with the date of freezing and the contents, to be sure that you use it within the right amount of time.

When prepared properly for freezing, Spam can be kept in the freezer for up to six months. It will still be fine to eat after this, but it is very likely that the quality will decline rapidly after this time frame.

How To Tell If Spam Has Gone Bad

There are some signs to look for to tell whether Spam has gone bad, and these are worth knowing, especially if you have a can of Spam that has been sitting in the pantry for some time, or Spam which is sitting open in the fridge.

These are the things to look for that indicate Spam has spoiled:


Spam that has gone bad, or which is in the process of spoiling, will have quite a foul odor. This could be just a really bad smell, or it could smell quite rancid. 

The smell of Spam is fairly strong, but it should not smell bad or off, and if you notice any off odors, then it is best to throw the Spam away to be safe.

Appearance And Texture

The Spam should not be overly slimy or sticky, and if it is, then it shows it is spoiling and not safe to eat.

The Spam should also not have any gray or light spots, or even spots of mold. If you notice any discoloration, then the Spam is no longer safe to eat.

Dented/Bulging Can

If the can is dented or bulging, then it is not worth the risk of eating the spam. It is likely that bacteria has entered a can if it is dented, and if the can is bulging, it shows that the Spam has begun to spoil.


Hopefully you would notice other signs that the Spam is spoiled before having a taste, but if you take a bite of spam and it has an off taste or tastes sour, then spit it out and throw it all away immediately.

How Long Can Unopened Spam Last?

Most Spam cans will come with a best-by date rather than an expiration date, because it does last for so long, and because it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly when the Spam might go off.

Depending on the specific type of Spam, a can, kept in a dark, cool and dry environment, such as in a pantry, can last between two to five years.

This is a really long time for a meat product, but as it is cured and preserved in such a way, it can be kept for years.

Even though Spam is fine to keep for a few years, make sure to keep a check on the best-by date, and make sure to look for any signs of spoiling when you do open the can.

Does Open Spam Need To Be Refrigerated?

Once you open a can of Spam, any leftovers should be placed in the refrigerator. If the Spam is left out at room temperature for longer than two hours, there is an increased risk of bacteria growth and the Spam spoiling.

After opening a can of Spam, make sure to place the leftovers in a sealable container and to place it in the fridge within two hours.

How Long Does Spam Last In The Fridge?

If leftover Spam is stored properly, in a sealed, airtight container, it can be kept in the fridge for up to ten days. Most manufacturers recommend that it should only be kept for up to five days, but it can last for longer, especially if you know signs to look for that it has spoiled.

If you do not think that you will use the Spam within ten days, then you should place it into a freezer-safe container and freeze it for up to six months.

Related Questions

Why does Spam last so long in an unopened can?

Spam is made with pork salt, ham, water, potato starch, sodium, nitrate and sugar, and the added salt, and special canning process, helps to preserve Spam to allow it to last for longer.

What is Spam short for?

The name Spam is a shortened version of ‘spiced ham’.

Is Spam good for you?

Spam does not contain too many nutrients that are ideal for a daily diet, but there is nothing wrong with enjoying Spam every now and then in moderation.

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