Whether it’s Thanksgiving or one more festive occasion, it’s great to know precisely how lengthy it will certainly last. Frozen raw turkey or leftovers in the fridge are the most typical shelf life concerns I hear. So, i asked the USDA because that the precise storage times because that turkey and this is what I found out.

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Raw turkey meat will remain fresh for approximately 2 days if save on computer in the refrigerator and also a year in the freezer (4 months if ground). When cooked, turkey will last 3-4 job in the fridge up to 4 month in the freezer. Both raw and also cooked turkey lasts only up to 2 hours at room temperature.

Turkey TypeRoom TemperatureRefrigeratorFreezer
Raw Turkey2 HoursUp come 2 DaysUp come 12 Months
Raw ground Turkey2 HoursUp to 2 DaysUp to 4 Months
Cooked Turkey2 HoursUp to 4 DaysUp come 4 Months
Unopened lunch Meat2 HoursUp to 2 WeeksUp to 2 Months
Opened having lunch Meat2 HoursUp to 5 DaysUp come 2 Months
Source: USDA

To learn an ext about just how long sliced deli turkey lasts, walk here.

The rest of this post will sheathe in higher detail:

How lengthy raw vs. Cooked turkey lasts.What come look because that to be able to identify if turkey has gone bad.Optimal warehouse techniques.

How lengthy Does Uncooked Turkey last in the Fridge?

It’s normally agreed upon no to keep uncooked turkey meat in the fridge much longer than 1 come 2 days. This isn’t come say that you can’t stretch the a little bit by a work or so. Still, in wealth of caution, s turkey doesn’t keep really long prior to it starts emerging harmful bacteria that can lead come food poisoning if you question it, its more than likely a good idea to litter it out.

If you placed a frozen turkey right into the fridge, you can expand its refrigerated shelf life as much as 3 come 4 days as it will take 1 come 2 days to thaw thoroughly. Constantly be extra cautious when save meats, particularly poultry.

How numerous Days Is Turkey great After Cooking?

Turkey is many tasty instantly after gift cooked. Texture, taste, and moisture levels begin to deteriorate rapidly upon refrigeration. Aesthetics and also safety are two separate concepts, however. Right here are a few guidelines because that different species of turkey:

Cooked turkey have the right to be safely stored in the refrigerator after that is cooked for 3 come 4 days.Cured or smoked turkey will certainly last 2 come 3 weeks in the fridge and also up come a year frozen. Curing with salt or smoking meat always extends your usability.Turkey will last as much as 1 entire year in the freezer. Theoretically, you deserve to freeze meats longer, yet freezer burn and deterioration that flavor begin to make it unpalatable roughly this time frame.

How long Does Turkey Stay great in the Fridge?

Thawed and raw turkey shouldn’t sit in her refrigerator for much longer than 1 to 2 days. If you don’t intend to chef it within this time frame, you should throw the turkey right into the freezer. I recommend getting an excellent airtight warehouse containers, favor these found on Amazon. Castle will aid maximize the shelf life of your turkey.


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Freezing, thawing, and also refreezing will result in a lose of quality, yet that’s a lot far better than getting an awful case of food poisoning. It’s always far better to be safe than sorry.

Cooked turkey and other cooked meat shouldn’t it is in refrigerated longer than 3 come 4 days uneven they space otherwise kept or vacuum-sealed.

How lengthy Does Sliced Turkey chest Last in the Fridge? (Does gift Sliced do a Difference?)

Sliced turkey have the right to be safely spend 7 come 10 days past its sell-by date, presuming the it is packaged in a sealed container. When it has been opened up or if it to be purchased indigenous a deli wherein it was freshly sliced, it need to be supplied within 5 days. Frozen sliced deli meats deserve to be stored for 1 year.

Slicing boosts the turkey’s full surface area, allowing for a higher chance for bacteria to form. Deli sliced turkey often tends to be handle by salting or curing, which rises the overall shelf life, yet in general, when you slice meat, the shortens its home window to be consumed safely.

How long Will Turkey last in the Freezer?

Turkey will certainly last as much as 1 year in her freezer. Vacuum sealing and preservation may grant you a tiny extra wiggle room. The USDA says that if it is uniformly frozen in ~ 0° F through no fluctuation in the temperature, the it have the right to be save indefinitely.

It’s important to keep in mind that freeze turkey may reason ice crystals to kind in the muscle tissue. This outcomes in tougher meat once it come time to chef it. Although it’s perfectly safe to freeze meats, color and flavor may additionally suffer as soon as freezing turkey for lengthy periods.

How Long deserve to Cooked Turkey Sit Out?

You need to never allow turkey sit out much longer than 2 hrs at room temperature. If in a warm area the 90° F or higher, make certain your turkey doesn’t sit out longer than 1 hour. Do not thaw a frozen turkey at room temperature longer than this. It’s finest to thaw turkey in a bowl of cold water or the refrigerator.

Allowing her turkey come sit out much longer than 2 hrs puts the at threat from entering what’s known as the “danger zone,” which space temperatures between 40 and 140° F. Harmful bacteria can kind in this temperature range. Leaving any type of meat out much longer than 2 hrs is virtually begging because that an awful situation of avoidable food poisoning.

How have the right to You call If a Turkey Is Bad?

Always confer to the sell-by date. Turkey doesn’t last much longer than 3 to 4 days past this date. Otherwise, there space a couple of tell-tale signs that will certainly tell you whether her turkey is tho good.

Turkey that has actually gone bad will sometimes construct a slimy movie on the external or top top its skin.You might additionally be able to usage your nose to recognize whether your turkey has gone past it’s prime. Bad turkey occasionally smells like rotten eggs but likewise be ~ above the lookout because that a vinegar, sour, sulfur, or wet-dog smell.Turkey may start come brown or shed its shade when it is going bad. Be aware of any kind of noticeable visible changes your turkey meat undergoes. A new turkey have to be slightly pink, with no major smell.

Prolonging the Shelf Life

Extra care and attention have to be payment to appropriately store poultry like turkey because it has actually a high potential for arising harmful bacteria. Preservation methods such as curing, smoking, dehydrating, and vacuum sealing room the best means to store turkey for extended periods.


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How carry out You keep Leftover cooked Turkey?

Store leftover turkey in an airtight container such together these found on Amazon or a ziplock baggie. If you space storing her turkey in the refrigerator, make certain it’s tucked far in the coldest section.

Pro Tip: The best method to freeze or refrigerate turkey is through vacuum sealing it. This prolongs it’s shelf-life and also preserves the flavor and texture.

If you room freezing your turkey, make certain that it’s no exposed to open up air. Oxidization reasons freezer burn.

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Keep the separate: as soon as you have leftovers indigenous Thanksgiving or Christmas, make sure you store your turkey separate from the various other leftover items prefer stuffing or mashed potatoes. This will expand each item’s warehouse shelf life.