Can you eat cold bacon?

In this short article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat cold bacon?” with an in-depth analysis of bacon, the health benefits and risks of eating bacon, how to safely consume bacon and ways to store bacon.

Can you eat cold bacon?

It majorly depends on how long the cooked bacon is kept at room temperature. 

Generally, the fresher the cooked bacon, the better it will taste. Cooked bacon left outside will ultimately get cold and change in texture. It may get chewy. If you reheat it in the microwave, it can become leathery. So, even if it is not harmful, cooked bacon that is left out for too long will not be tasty enough.

What is bacon?

Bacon is salt-cured pork formed from various cuts, particularly the belly or less fatty parts of the back. It is mostly consumed as a side dish and also sometimes used as the main ingredient, or as a flavouring in a salad.

The nutritional profile of bacon

A 3.5-ounce serving of cooked bacon provides:

  • 37 g of high-quality animal protein
  • Vitamins including vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and vitamin B12
  • 89 per cent of the RDA for selenium
  • 53 per cent of the RDA for phosphorus
  • Some amounts of the essential minerals including iron, magnesium, zinc and potassium

The risks of eating bacon

Almost 68 per cent of the calories from bacon come from fat, the majority of which is saturated fat. One ounce of bacon provides 30 mg of cholesterol.

Eating foods that are rich in saturated fats can elevate cholesterol levels drastically, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. And if those saturated fat-rich foods also have high dietary cholesterol levels, cholesterol concentration tends to rise even greater.

It is recommended by the American Heart Association to consume less than 7 per cent of the saturated fat of your total calories, to avoid any unsafe circumstances. 

In addition to being red meat, bacon also belongs to the processed meat group and no amount of processed meat is regarded as safe to eat by the American Institute for Cancer Research as it is preserved through smoking, curing, or salting.

It has been found out that frequent consumption of processed meats may lead to a higher risk for prostate cancer and various other cancers. That is why it is recommended to avoid all forms of processed meat until more research is done.

Processed meat may raise the risk of cancer, because of the:

  • Nitrates, which are applied as preservatives in processed meat, transform into N-nitroso, compounds that promote cancer, in the processed meat and also during digestion in the gut.
  • Carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons can be generated while processing.

Bacon also has high amounts of salt. Excessive salt consumption may elevate blood pressure in people who are sensitive to salt.

How long does cooked bacon last in the refrigerator? 

It depends largely on the storage conditions. It is recommended to refrigerate cooked bacon within two hours after cooking.

To increase the shelf life of cooked bacon and for safe consumption, keep the bacon in the fridge after placing it in a shallow airtight container or wrapping tightly with aluminium foil or plastic wrap. 

Cooked bacon, when properly stored, will last for four to five days in the fridge.

How long does cooked bacon last in the freezer? 

To further increase the shelf life of cooked bacon, it can be frozen in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag, or after wrapping tightly with heavy-duty aluminium foil or freezer wrap.

Cooked bacon when properly stored will maintain the best quality for about two to three months but will also remain safe for consumption past that time.

How long does cooked bacon last after being thawed? 

Cooked bacon that has been thawed in the refrigerator can be stored for an additional three to four days in the fridge before consumption. While the bacon that was thawed in the microwave or cold water should be consumed quickly.

How long does cooked bacon last at room temperature? 

Cooked bacon should be wanted if kept for more than two hours at room temperature as bacteria multiply quickly at temperatures between 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to know if cooked bacon has gone bad? 

The best way to know if the cooked bacon has gone bad is to smell and examine the bacon. If it has a sour smell and a slimy texture, it has definitely gone bad. Discard it immediately.

Other FAQs about Bacon that you may be interested in.

Can dogs eat raw bacon?

Can you freeze Canadian bacon?

How to cook Canadian bacon in the microwave?


In this short article, we have answered the question, “Can you eat cold bacon?” with an in-depth analysis of bacon, the health benefits and risks of eating bacon, how to safely consume bacon and ways to store bacon.


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