Can you eat bacon 2 days after the use-by date?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you eat bacon 2 days after the use-by date” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can eat bacon that is past the use-by date. Moreover, we are going to discuss different ways to spot bad bacon.

Can you eat bacon 2 days after the use-by date?

Before deciding whether or not you can eat bacon that is past its use-by date, you first have to know what is a use-by date.

The use-by date refers to the date that is marked on the packaging of the perishable food commodities and it refers to the time by which you should consume that food.

Generally, unopened bacon lasts for about 1-2 weeks past the sell-by date while once it gets opened it is advised to use it within 7 days provided that it is stored properly in the fridge.

According to USDA, you should consume your bacon before the use-by date but whether or not you are going to eat a properly stored bacon (stored at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit the whole time) that is 2 days past the use-by date mainly depends upon your decision (you should do a sensory evaluation of bacon).

Moreover, when it comes to the use-by date then you can use the bacon that is past this date provided that it was already stored properly in the freezer (before the use-by date).

It is worth mentioning that the way you have stored your bacon also affects the shelf life of bacon.

For instance, if your bacon was stored for more than 2 hours at room temperature (or more than 1 hour if the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit) then it is better to discard it as bacteria grow best at 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and there are chances of your bacon to be already bacteria-laden in this case.

On the other hand, the bacon that is properly refrigerated the whole time at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below can be suitable to consume for a week or two provided that there are no signs of spoilage associated with it.

Moreover, if you want to further prolong the shelf life of bacon then it is recommended to store it in the freezer properly.

You can read how to make bacon at home here.

Ways to spot bad bacon

Certain indicators point out bad bacon, therefore you should consider the color, texture, and smell of your bacon to reach a final verdict whether it is still suitable to consume or if it has gone bad.

Color 

If you can notice that the color of the bacon has changed to grey-green or brown then it is the indication that your bacon is past its prime time.

Texture 

If you feel something slimy or gooey while touching the bacon then it means that your bacon has gone bad and it is better to discard it. 

But keep one thing in mind that rinsing the bacon won’t help you in this scenario as you won’t be able to get rid of the bacteria. Rather rinsing the bacteria-laden bacon will put you at risk of cross-contamination as the bacteria will spread in the utensils and other food items that will come in contact with the water from the bacon that has gone bad.

It is worth mentioning that you should wash your hands thoroughly after touching the bacteria-laden bacon or else the bacteria will transfer from your hands to any other thing that comes in contact with your hands.

Smell 

If you smell something sour, putrid, or ammonia-like while taking a sniff test of your bacon then it means that your bacon has gone bad and you should discard it.  

Thus, you should consider the points discussed above while deciding whether or not you are going to devour bacon that is 2 days past the use-by date.

Tips to properly store bacon

  1. You should always store your bacon at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit therefore it is always advised to store your bacon at a lower temperature to preserve its freshness and quality for a long time.
  1. You should never let your bacon sit out for more than 2 hours. Bacon lasts for about 2 hours when kept at room temperature. You should discard the bacon that has been left in open for more than 2 hours as bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40°F and 140°F, therefore there are greater chances of the bacon being already contaminated with bacteria when left out for more than 2 hours at the room temperature.
  1. It is advised to always store the bacon on the shelf of the refrigerator rather than the door as there can be a lot of temperature fluctuations at the door of the fridge that can degrade the quality of the bacon.
  1. Always cook the bacon thoroughly till its internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. Never store bacon immediately after cooking because if you store the steaming hot bacon in an air-tight container the moisture will build up inside it that can provide a suitable environment for bacteria to grow therefore you should let your cooked bacon cool thoroughly before storing it.
  1. In case you want to freeze the bacon, it is best practice to wrap it in heavy-duty aluminum foil or thick plastic wrap before putting it in a plastic freezer bag. By doing so you will prevent freezer burns on your bacon.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you eat bacon 2 days after the use-by date” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can eat bacon that is past the use-by date. Moreover, we discussed different ways to spot bad bacon.

Citations

https://www.bhg.com.au/how-long-does-bacon-last

http://www.eatbydate.com/proteins/meats/bacon-shelf-life-expiration-date/#:~:text=Bacon%20lasts%20for%201%2D2,been%20met%2C%20as%20described%20below.&text=The%20shelf%20life%20of%20bacon,how%20the%20meat%20was%20stored.

https://www.sciencealert.com/the-vast-majority-of-expiration-dates-are-completely-bogus-here-s-how-long-your-food-really-keeps-for

https://www.streetsmartkitchen.com/how-to-tell-if-bacon-is-bad/

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Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.

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