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Food Safety Issues/Extreme amount of slime on ham


I just opened a fully cooked spiral cut ham ( sell by date 6/5, today is 6/6).  There  is an extreme amount of slime, I mean like 1/2 a cup or more.  The ham smells fine, but I have never  experienced this amount of slime before.  I hate to waste food but am I better off tossing this?

Hi Heidi,

The "slime" is the congealed ham juice that contains fat that was drawn to the surface during the cooking process. Once the ham was packaged and cooled the juices congealed to form a thick, slime like liquid.  Your ham just had more of this congealed juice than you normally experience.  

If the ham was spoiled, it would have an off smell and the sealed wrapped would be bloated. Since you say the ham looked and smelled fine, and was within the sell by date, it is fine to consume.


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Carol Schlitt


I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.


I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc -

National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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