How long does turkey pepperoni last?

Turkey pepperoni is a popular alternative to traditional pork pepperoni. It has a similar spicy, savory flavor but is made from turkey meat instead of pork. Turkey pepperoni lasts longer than regular pepperoni since it has less fat content. Here’s a closer look at how long turkey pepperoni lasts both sealed and opened.

Unopened Turkey Pepperoni

Properly stored, unopened packs of turkey pepperoni that are within the expiration date printed on the package will last around 2 to 3 months past the sell by date. The key is making sure it is stored correctly.

Here are some tips for maximizing the shelf life of unopened turkey pepperoni:

  • Keep turkey pepperoni sealed in its original airtight packaging.
  • Check the ‘best by’ or ‘use by’ date on the package and do not use past this date.
  • Store in the refrigerator set at 40°F (4°C) or below. The cold temperature helps slow bacteria growth.
  • Do not freeze unopened turkey pepperoni unless indicated on the packaging.
  • Avoid storing in the door of the refrigerator which may be warmer.

If stored properly in the fridge, sealed packs of turkey pepperoni can stay fresh for around 2 to 3 months past the printed date. Discard if you notice an off smell, color, or slimy texture when you open it.

Opened Turkey Pepperoni

Once opened, turkey pepperoni will last around 1 to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Follow these tips for maximizing freshness:

  • Reseal the package tightly after each use.
  • Wrap tightly in plastic wrap if the packaging does not reseal well.
  • Store opened turkey pepperoni in the fridge set at 40°F (4°C) or below.
  • Use within 5 to 7 days for peak freshness and quality.
  • Discard if you notice an off-smell, color, or slimy texture.

In general, consume opened turkey pepperoni within 1 to 2 weeks for the best flavor and texture.

How to Tell if Turkey Pepperoni is Bad

Here are some signs that turkey pepperoni has gone bad and needs to be discarded:

  • Slimy Texture – Fresh turkey pepperoni should be slightly firm to the touch. If it feels excessively soft, wet or slimy, it has spoiled.
  • Mold Growth – Watch for fuzzy mold growing on the surface, which signals spoilage.
  • Discoloration – The color should be an even pinkish-red. Grey, brown or green discoloration is a bad sign.
  • Off Odor – Turkey pepperoni will give off a distinct unpleasant or sulfury smell when it has gone bad.
  • Expired Date – Do not use turkey pepperoni that is past its printed expiration date.

When in doubt, remember the old saying “When in doubt, throw it out” applies here. It’s better to be safe than sorry when dealing with spoiled meat products.

Does Refrigeration Extend How Long Turkey Pepperoni Lasts?

Yes, proper refrigeration is key for maximizing how long turkey pepperoni lasts. The cold temperature of the refrigerator or cooler slows down bacteria growth that causes food spoilage.

Here are some refrigerator tips for keeping turkey pepperoni fresh longer:

  • Set refrigerator temperature to 40°F (4°C) or below.
  • Store unopened turkey pepperoni on a fridge shelf rather than in the door.
  • Keep opened turkey pepperoni tightly sealed in fridge.
  • Don’t overcrowd fridge with too many items as this reduces cold air circulation.
  • Use opened turkey pepperoni within 5 to 7 days.

With proper refrigeration, unopened packs of turkey pepperoni can last around 2 to 3 months past the printed date. Once opened, use within 1 to 2 weeks.

Can You Freeze Turkey Pepperoni?

Yes, you can freeze turkey pepperoni to extend its shelf life beyond the 1 to 2 weeks it will last in the fridge after opening.

To freeze turkey pepperoni:

  • Reseal package tightly or wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil.
  • Place flat in freezer bags, removing as much air as possible.
  • Store at 0°F (-18°C) or below. Use freezer thermometer to verify temperature if needed.
  • Properly frozen, turkey pepperoni can last 2 to 3 months in the freezer.
  • Allow frozen turkey pepperoni to thaw overnight in the fridge before use.

Freezing prevents bacteria growth that causes spoilage. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using frozen turkey pepperoni on pizzas or in recipes.

How Long Does Leftover Turkey Pepperoni Pizza Last?

Leftover pizza with turkey pepperoni will last around 3 to 5 days properly stored in the refrigerator. Place leftover pizza slices in a sealed container or resealable plastic freezer bag. Try to remove as much air as possible which can accelerate spoilage. Store leftovers immediately in the fridge after cooking or eating. Reheat leftover pizza thoroughly to 165°F (74°C) before eating.

Signs that leftover turkey pepperoni pizza has gone bad include mold growth, off odors, and an excessively dried out texture. When reheating, discard slices that have developed a slimy texture or foul smell.

For longer storage, leftover turkey pepperoni pizza can be frozen. To freeze, wrap individual slices well in plastic wrap, place in freezer bags and store at 0°F (-18°C). Properly frozen, it will keep for 2 to 3 months.

How Long Does an Opened Package of Turkey Pepperoni Last in the Fridge?

Once opened, turkey pepperoni that is properly stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator will last for 1 to 2 weeks.

Here are some tips for maximizing the shelf life of opened turkey pepperoni:

  • Reseal the turkey pepperoni package tightly after each use or transfer to an airtight container.
  • Wrap tightly with plastic wrap if the original packaging does not seal well.
  • Refrigerate opened turkey pepperoni at 40°F (4°C) or below.
  • Use within 5 to 7 days for the best quality and freshness.
  • Discard if you notice any off smells, color changes or sliminess.

In general, opened turkey pepperoni stays good for 1 to 2 weeks in the fridge. For longer storage, freeze opened turkey pepperoni for 2 to 3 months.

Does Turkey Pepperoni Need to be Refrigerated?

Yes, refrigeration is required to maximize the shelf life of turkey pepperoni once it is opened. Both unopened and opened packages of turkey pepperoni need to be stored in the refrigerator set to 40°F (4°C) or below.

Some key reasons turkey pepperoni needs refrigeration include:

  • Slows bacteria growth – Cold fridge temperatures slow the growth of harmful bacteria.
  • Reduces oxidation – Refrigeration helps prevent oxidation that can cause color and flavor changes.
  • Prevents moisture loss – The cold air keeps turkey pepperoni from drying out.
  • Extends shelf life – Proper refrigeration extends how long turkey pepperoni stays fresh.

Leaving turkey pepperoni out on the counter at room temperature for more than 2 hours is not recommended. Use an insulated cooler bag when transporting turkey pepperoni to prevent it from sitting out too long. Follow the handling instructions on turkey pepperoni packaging and refrigerate promptly after opening.

Does Turkey Pepperoni Need to be Cooked Before Eating?

Yes, turkey pepperoni is a pre-cooked cured meat product but it still requires thorough cooking before eating to kill any potential harmful bacteria.

Here are some key reasons why you should always cook turkey pepperoni thoroughly:

  • Kill bacteria – Cooking to an internal temperature of at least 160°F (71°C) destroys any pathogens.
  • Food safety – Fully cooked meats are safer for those with weakened immune systems.
  • Improve texture – Cooking makes the pepperoni slice easier to chew and more palatable.
  • Enhance flavor – Heating brings out the spices and flavors of cured meats like turkey pepperoni.

Be sure to check any instructions on the turkey pepperoni packaging. Most recommend cooking before eating it straight or adding it to pizzas, antipasto platters or pasta dishes. Cook turkey pepperoni until steaming hot or crispy to enjoy it at its best.

How Long Does Turkey Pepperoni Last After the Sell-By Date?

Turkey pepperoni can typically last around 2 to 3 months past its sell by date if it is properly stored unopened in its original packaging. The sell by date is useful for retailers to know when to pull products, but it does not necessarily mean the product will spoil immediately after that date.

Here are some tips for maximizing turkey pepperoni’s shelf life after its sell by date:

  • Look for other dates on packaging like a ‘use by’ or ‘best before’ date which indicate when the product may start deteriorating.
  • Store unopened turkey pepperoni in the refrigerator at 40°F (4°C) or below.
  • Seal the package tightly and look for bulges or holes which can allow bacteria in.
  • When opening, inspect the product thoroughly by smell and sight.
  • Discard if you see any molds, sliminess or off odors.

The sell by date is a general guideline for how long turkey pepperoni lasts sealed but other factors like storage method have a significant impact on shelf life as well. Use common sense when evaluating if expired turkey pepperoni seems unspoiled and good to eat.


Turkey pepperoni can last around 2 to 3 months past its printed date unopened when properly stored in the refrigerator below 40°F (4°C). Once opened, it will stay fresh for 1 to 2 weeks in the fridge in an airtight container. For longer storage, freeze turkey pepperoni for up to 2 to 3 months. Signs turkey pepperoni has spoiled include mold, slime, off-colors and unpleasant odors. Cook thoroughly before eating to 165°F (74°C) and refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours. With proper storage and handling, you can maximize the shelf life of turkey pepperoni.

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