How Long Does Salami Last? (From Dry and Hard to Wet Salami)

May 9, 2023
Written by Kristy J. Norton

As a deli meat enthusiast and professional chef, I’ve learned that you can store unopened dry or hard salami indefinitely in the fridge (under the right conditions). But it lasts only up to 6 weeks in the pantry. And when it’s cooked salami, or you left it open during storage, the longevity is considerably shorter!

As with any food, it’s essential to know how long salami lasts before it starts to go bad. After all, no one wants to bite into a piece of rancid meat! In this article, I’ll delve into the details of salami’s shelf life. I’ll show you the different types of salami and how to store them to keep them fresh as long as possible. 

how long does salami last

Different Types of Salami and How Long They Last?

Different types of salami have their unique personalities – and shelf lives! 

Dry Salami

With its firm texture and tangy flavor, dry salami, also called hard salami, is the more durable elder of the salami family. They can last up to six months in the fridge and even longer if properly stored. 

Hard Salami is like a stoic old friend who never seems to change. You can have them in the pantry for up to six weeks. 

Soft Fresh Salami

Soft, fresh salami, on the other hand, is like a new acquaintance – exciting, fresh, and full of surprises. 

This is the one you should keep an eye on most. The shelf life is around 5 to 7 days in the refrigerator. Yep, it spoils pretty quickly!

How Long Does Cooked Salami Last?

Cooked salami lasts up to 2 weeks in the fridge if unopened and stored properly. Surprisingly, cooked deli meat has a shorter shelf life than its raw counterpart.

If you’re unsure if the cooked deli meat is still safe, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and throw it out to avoid food poisoning.

How Long Does Salami Last in the Fridge Opened?

In general, opened dry salami can last in the fridge for up to 3 weeks if stored correctly. The fresh ones last a week max! 

So, it’s crucial to keep the dry deli meat wrapped tightly or in an airtight container. This will give it longer storage time and prevent it from drying out or absorbing other flavors in the fridge. 

How Long Is Sliced Deli Salami Good For?

Generally, sliced deli meat can last 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.

However, once you open the package, you leave it in the pantry or at room temperature, the shelf life is reduced. 

At room temperature, you have to use your sliced salami deli meat at the same hour or throw it away after two hours in this condition.

Sliced Salami on the Cutting Board

Factors That Affect Salami’s Shelf Life

Understanding the factors that affect your deli meat’s shelf life can help you enjoy its meaty goodness for longer.

From type to packaging and storage conditions, here are factors that decide how long you can store them.

Types of Salami

Dry salami, such as Genoa salami or Soppressata, can last longer than soft and fresh salami, such as Cotto or Mortadella

The reason is that hard salami have less moisture content, which makes them less susceptible to bacterial growth and spoilage.

The Packaging

This is a no-brainer as it affects all fresh and cured meat. Deli meat that is vacuum-sealed or tightly wrapped in plastic has a longer shelf life than those that come in loosely wrapped paper or a ziplock bag. 

The packaging helps to prevent air and moisture from getting to the salami, which can cause it to spoil faster.

Sliced or Not

Sliced salami’s longevity is shorter than unsliced salami sticks. This is because you are giving more surface oxygen exposure. When sliced salami gets exposed to air and direct overhead light exposure, it starts getting bad. So, if you want your salami meat to have a longer lifetime, don’t slice it! And if you’ve done that, I recommend removing sliced salami from exposure.

Storage Conditions

Your salami should always be in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight, and at a consistent temperature. 

Storing deli meat at room temperature for too long can cause it to spoil quickly.

Likewise, exposing it to warm temperatures can speed up the spoilage process.

That’s the kind of condition in microorganisms that cause food spoilage like enzymes, molds, and yeast thrive well. 

How Do You Know When Salami Goes Bad?

Here are some signs I like to look out for:

  • Foul Odor: If the salami smells off or has a rancid odor like that of rotten eggs, it indicates you have a spoiled salami. Throw it away!
  • Slimy Texture: Deli meat should have a dry and firm texture. If it feels slimy or sticky, it’s a clear sign that it has started to spoil.
  • Mold: While some types of mold on salami are harmless, others can be dangerous. If you see a lot of mold on the salami or if it’s a different color than the mold usually found on cured meats, it’s best to discard it.
  • Discoloration: If the salami has an unusual discoloration or appears to be fading or dull, that may signal the presence of harmful microorganisms.
  • Taste: If the deli meat has a sour or unpleasant taste, it has likely gone bad.
Sliced Salami with Salt on the Wooden Bowl

How to Store Salami to Extend Its Shelf Life?

Here are the three most effective ways to store your salami:

  • Refrigeration: You can store your salami in the refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or less to keep it cool and dry. For dry or hard salami, it’s best to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out. For soft salami, I like to store mine in an airtight container to prevent moisture from getting to it.
  • Freezing: Freezing salami is an excellent way to extend its shelf life. The best practice is to wrap the salami tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in a freezer-safe bag.
  • Vacuum Sealing: Vacuum sealing is also an effective way to store salami for an extended period. The usual vacuum-sealed packaging helps to prevent air and moisture from getting to the salami, which can cause it to spoil. Vacuum-sealed salami can last for up to a year in the refrigerator. 


The shelf life of salami depends on various factors such as its type, packaging, and storage conditions. Also, avoid salami exposure by all means.

No matter which storage method you choose, you should check your salami regularly for signs of spoilage. Remember, when in doubt, throw it out!

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. Pitmaster Central is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for website owners to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon (.com,, .ca etc) and any other website that may be affiliated with Amazon Service LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Keep Reading
Copyright 2024 Pitmaster Central, all rights reserved.