Can you get sick from eating expired bacon?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you get sick from eating expired bacon” with an in-depth analysis of the health implications of eating expired bacon. 

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Can you get sick from eating expired bacon?

Bacon belongs to the meat group that is a highly perishable food commodity. Expired bacon or the bacon that has gone bad contains a lot of bacteria and other microbes like Salmonella, E.coli, Clostridium, or tapeworm, etc which can result in food poisoning.

Moreover, it can also contain parasites that can result in toxoplasmosis or trichinosis.

So if you have devoured bacon that has gone bad, it can result in symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, chest pain, and dehydration.

  1. Diarrhea is an indication of the body that a certain obnoxious agent has entered it. So consumption of expired or bacteria-laden bacon often causes diarrhea.
  1. Food poisoning after consuming bad bacon is characterized by abdominal pain. Abdominal pain is also accompanied by vomiting and nausea in most cases.
  1. If you have consumed bacon that has microbial growth on it then you will experience nausea and vomiting which is the natural defense of the body to get rid of the unwanted harmful substance that has entered the body.
  1. Consuming bacon that has gone bad will also raise your body temperature and you can experience fever which is the natural defense mechanism of your body and is the indicator that something is off with your body.

So in case you have devoured bad bacon and are now suffering from vomiting and diarrhea,  you should try to drink as much water as possible so that while the body is getting rid of the toxins in form of diarrhea and vomiting, the water that you drink will protect your body against dehydration that vomiting can otherwise result in.  In case the vomiting and diarrhea persist for more than 3 days or the symptoms worsen, you should seek immediate medical help.

It is worth mentioning that when it comes to bacon, then you will find a “sell by” and “use-by” date on it rather than the “expiry date”.

When it comes to the sell-by date, unopened bacon stays good for about 2 weeks after the sell-by date when kept in the fridge. While once opened, bacon lasts for about a week when properly stored in the refrigerator.

On the other hand, when it comes to the “use by” date then it is the time for which the manufacturer guarantees that the bacon will stay good, and eating bacon during this time won’t impose safety risks.

It is worth mentioning that you should do the sensory evaluation of the bacon, before deciding whether or not you are going to eat it.

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 has gone bad or not.

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.

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.  

You can read about toxoplasmosis here.

Other FAQs about Bacon which you may be interested in.

How long is Bacon Grease good for in the fridge?

How long does unopened bacon last in the fridge?

How to store bacon?

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.

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.

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.

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 get sick from eating expired bacon” with an in-depth analysis of the health implications of eating expired bacon. 

Citations

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/bacon-expiration

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

https://www.wikihow.com/Tell-if-Bacon-Is-Bad

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.