In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How long can cooked bacon be left out of the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of cooked bacon. Moreover, we are going to discuss different ways to spot bad bacon and tips to properly store bacon.
So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.
How long can cooked bacon be left out of the fridge?
Cooked bacon lasts for about 2 hours when left out of the fridge at room temperature.
You should discard the cooked 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 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore there are greater chances of the cooked bacon being already contaminated with bacteria when left out for more than 2 hours.
Moreover, if the temperature of the surroundings is about 90 degrees Fahrenheit, then the process of spoilage takes place at a faster pace and it is recommended to discard cooked bacon that is left out in the open for more than an hour at 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Shelf life of cooked bacon in the fridge
Cooked bacon lasts for about 4-5 days if stored at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit in the fridge when stored in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag.
Moreover, as bacon is a highly perishable commodity therefore care should be taken while handling, storing, and cooking it.
Shelf life of cooked bacon in the freezer
Cooked bacon, if kept wrapped in aluminum foil in an air-tight container or air-tight plastic freezer bag, can last for about 2-3 months in the freezer.
Thus keeping the cooked bacon in the freezer will increase its shelf life considerably owing to the cool temperature of the freezer that halts the bacterial growth on the cooked bacon.
Frozen cooked bacon if thawed in the refrigerator can stay there for 3-4 days before reheating and consuming it.
But if you thaw your cooked bacon in a bowl of cold water or the microwave, it is advised to consume it immediately after heating them till its internal temperature rises to 165 °F.
It is worth mentioning that the figures mentioned above are the estimated shelf life of cooked bacon.
Tips to store cooked bacon
- You should always store your cooked bacon at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore it is always advised to store your cooked bacon at a lower temperature to preserve its freshness for a long time.
- It is recommended to store cooked bacon on one of the shelves of the refrigerator rather than the door as there are a lot of temperature fluctuations at the door of the fridge.
- You can further prolong the shelf life of the cooked bacon by wrapping it in the heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic freezer bag and storing it in the freezer.
You can read how to cook bacon in the oven here.
Different ways to spot bad bacon
There are a couple of indicators that point out bad bacon. You should consider the appearance, texture, and smell of the bacon to reach a final verdict on whether or not they have gone bad.
If you spot a mold or other organic growth on your cooked or uncooked bacon then it means that your bacon has gone bad and the best thing you can do in this scenario is to get rid of it.
If you notice that the bacon has off colors (greenish-grey or brown) then it is an indication that your bacon has gone bad and it is better to discard them.
Several factors can be responsible for a change in the color of the bacon and that includes light, oxidation reactions, temperature, and bacterial contamination.
If you feel something slimy or gooey while touching the bacon then it means that your cooked bacon has gone bad and it is better to discard them.
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. 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.
If you smell something sour or ammonia-like while taking a sniff test of your bacon then it means that your bacon has gone bad.
If microbes somehow found their way to your bacon and have spoiled it then the best thing you should do is to discard it.
Other FAQs about Bacon that you may be interested in.
In this brief guide, we answered the question “How long can cooked bacon be left out of the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of cooked bacon. Moreover, we discussed different ways to spot bad bacon and tips to properly store bacon.