Pickling bologna not only increases its shelf life, but the pickling process also introduces new flavors and textures. You can buy pickled bologna at select retailers, or you can make it at home; however, homemade pickled bologna has a shorter shelf life, as commercial versions are canned under tightly controlled conditions. Eat homemade pickled bologna within a few weeks and heed expiration dates printed on commercial products.
Pickled Bologna's Shelf Life
Recommendations vary, but homemade pickled bologna typically sits for a few days up to a week prior to consumption so that the pickling liquid has ample time to infuse into the bologna, imparting new flavors and tenderizing the meat. Homemade pickled bologna should be eaten within three weeks, and it can be stored refrigerated -- or not. If you store it at room temperature, choose a cool, dark, dry place where temperatures are in the 60- to 70-degree Fahrenheit range. Factors such as exposure to temperatures over 85 degrees, excessive exposure to light and contamination can shorten shelf life, so look for signs of spoilage such as foul odors or mold around the lid before consuming pickled bologna nearing the three-week mark. Commercially produced pickled bologna has an expiration date printed on the label, but they are typically best consumed within three to four months.