Cold cut

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For the English DJ duo, see Coldcut.
"Lunch meat" redirects here. For the film, see Lunch Meat (film).
Cold cut
A tray of assorted cold cuts
Alternative names Lunch meats, luncheon meats, sandwich meats, cooked meats, sliced meats, cold meats, deli meats
Main ingredients Meat or cheese
Cookbook:Cold cut  Cold cut

Cold cuts—also known as lunch meats, luncheon meats, sandwich meats, cooked meats, sliced meats, cold meats, and deli meats—are precooked or cured meat, often sausages or meat loaves, that are sliced and served cold or hot on sandwiches or on party trays.[1] They can be bought pre-sliced in vacuum packs at a supermarket or grocery store, or they can be purchased at a delicatessen or deli counter, where they might be sliced to order.


Most pre-sliced cold cuts are higher in fat, nitrates, and sodium than those that are sliced to order, as a larger exposed surface requires stronger preservatives.[1]


The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that those over 50 reheat cold cuts to "steaming hot" 165 °F (74 °C) and use them within four days.[2]

Regional differences[edit]

Commonwealth countries[edit]

In Commonwealth countries, luncheon meat specifically refers to products that can include mechanically reclaimed meat and offal. In these countries, the terms cold meats, cooked meats, deli meats or sliced meats are used instead.

Latin America[edit]

The Spanish word for cold cut, fiambre, is also used in street slang to refer to a dead body (more common in Chile and Argentina), because of the word used to express low temperatures of the bodies. In Brazil, the Portuguese for ham "presunto" is also used with the same meaning.

In Guatemala, a cold cut is a traditional dish eaten in November. It is eaten the first and second day of the month to celebrate "El día de Todos los Santos" (All Saints' Day) and "El día de Todos los Difuntos" (All Souls' Day). There are two types: red and white.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Phil Lempert (27 December 2006). "The 5 things you need to know about deli meats". Today Food. NBC News. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "CDC: Over 50? Heat cold cuts to 165 degrees to avoid listeria". 

External links[edit]

Media related to Cold cut at Wikimedia Commons