How would I know if the ham in my refrigerator is still good?!
I bought it three months ago, but it has been kept sealed in its original package.
Would I notice a smell or something if the ham was bad?
Half a ham or a half-cooked ham? Frozen or not? MOST packaged hams are precooked fully and as such will last a LONG time past the "best by" date provided it remains sealed air tight. If frozen, it will last for years as long as it does not thaw. The plastic wrapping is heat sealed and air tight so you will not smell anything until you break the airtight seal and open the plastic. You MAY see discoloration, either green or black from mold if it is growing inside the plastic, much like what you see on the surface of bread. You may see a paper white gooey substance inside that is NOT fat but is a relative of mold. It will be obvious if it has gone south if you open it. Ham has a distinct odor when it turns, probably from the salt and smoke flavorings that are added after the fact. There is also a fair percentage of water added as well. The last ham I purchased, a fully cooked spiral cut, had a label that said it had as much as 38% by weight of additives such as salt, smoke and other flavorings plus added water! If you are not going to open it and serve it up soon, freeze it. Freezing will put it into suspended animation so to speak. Preferably in a real deep freezer, not the freezer section of your refrigerator. The freezer section will keep something frozen that was already frozen solid, but has a hard time freezing something as large as a ham solid through and through. If it is not solidly frozen, you might as well not have frozen it at all. I have several packages of meat in my deep freeze that are years past their best by date. Each one I have opened has always been as good as it was when I put it in the deep freeze. I don't think you have anything to worry about. Heat and serve, or deep freeze. The "best by" date does NOT work like a light switch...
Depends on the packaging. If it's just light plastic like cling wrap, it would go bad, but sounds like that's not the case because then the expiration date wouldn't be months later. If it's very tight good packaging like they usually have for bacon, it is fine since you never opened it.
You would indeed notice a bad smell if it was rotten, also discoloring, but that won't be the case unless you open and then leave it there for three months. When you open meat, you need to use it within a few days max even if you keep it in the fridge.
experience and common sense
there is no reason it would be spoiled if it has been refrigerated all this time.
Open the package and smell and touch.
If it stinks and is slimy, its spoiled.
that sounds like something I would pick up the phone and ask my mother...I'm laughing at myself :))
You would smell it if it was off Birdy...
smell it to see if it smells off
taste a little bit to see if it tastes off