How long is bacon good for?

In this article, we will answer the question “How long is bacon good for?”, and how to safely store bacon?

How long is bacon good for?

The following table is an estimated shelf-life of cooked and raw bacon under different storage conditions.

In the pantryIn fridge 
Raw bacon (unopened)5-7 days past the Use-by date
Raw bacon (opened)5-7 days
Cooked bacon4-5 days
Precooked bacon (sold refrigerated, unopened)5-7 days past the Use-by date
Precooked bacon (sold refrigerated, opened)4-5 days
Precooked bacon (sold unrefrigerated, unopened)1-2 weeks past the Best-by date
Precooked bacon (sold unrefrigerated, opened)4-5 days 

How to store bacon?

  • Any type of raw meat including raw bacon i.e ham should be stored in the refrigerator. If the original package of the bacon is resealable, it can be stored in the same package in the fridge after opening. 
  • But if it is not, wrap the bacon in a plastic bag or aluminum foil or place it in a freezer bag. Wrapping the bacon is important to keep it from losing moisture and to protect the other food products in the fridge from picking up the strong smell of bacon.
  • Cooked bacon can be stored in an ai-tight container or a freezer bag in the fridge. Keep the container sealed tightly and place it in the corner of the fridge for best results.
  • The store-bought pre-cooked bacon can be either stored in the fridge or at room temperature. It depends on the type of bacon you bought. Shelf-stable bacon won’t go bad even when placed at room temperature.

Freezing bacon

  • It is recommended to cook the bacon before freezing for the best results. It is better to cut the large chunk of bacon into portion-sized or any size of your personal preference. This step, however, is optional and completely depends on what you want to do with your bacon.
  • Put the chunks, slices, or cubes of bacon into the freezer bag. Squeeze out the air from the bag. Label the bag and chuck it into the freezer. 
  • It is recommended to freeze a meal-sized portion of bacon in one bag. Frozen bacon should be thawed in the fridge overnight.

How to tell if the bacon has gone bad?

Look

Fresh bacon has a pink color with yellow or white fat deposits. If the bacon looks grey, blue, or develops green or blur patches, it should be thrown away. This happens when the meat is exposed to air for a long time.

Smell

Fresh bacon has a meaty smell. Bad bacon will develop a sour, rancid, fishy, or rotten smell. Such meat should be immediately discarded. The oxidation of fat is responsible for the rancid smell.

Touch

Fresh bacon should feel moist and soft upon touch. While bad bacon has a slimy layer on the surface and feels sticky to the touch. Lactic acid bacteria are responsible for slime formation.

What happens If you eat bad bacon?

How to cook bacon?

Bacon can be cooked on the stovetop, in the microwave, or in the oven. Make sure the bacon is heated to a safe internal temperature of 145℉ during cooking. It should ideally be cooked until it forms a slightly crispy surface.

Overcooking will turn the bacon black. It may also lead to the formation of Nitrosamines that have carcinogenic effects when ingested.

What happens If you eat spoiled bacon?

If you’re unsure about the spoilage of bacon, it should better be discarded. Because eating spoiled bacon leads to food poisoning which is reflected in vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. Increase your fluid intake when you experience these symptoms. Visit a doctor if the symptoms worsen.

How to cook with bacon?

Other than the recipes listed below, bacon can be used to make Bacon Quiche, Bacon Meatballs, Bacon Nut. Make Bacon-Wrapped Trout, Bacon-Beer Mussels, Hot Bacon-Crab Dip if you like bacon with seafood. Spinach-Bacon Salad and Bistro Salad are very tasty bacon salad options.

Bacon Guacamole

Make Bacon Guacamole by mashing  2 avocados with the ingredients below.

  • 1/2 cup each chopped tomato and cilantro
  • 1/4 cup each chopped onion 
  • crumbled cooked bacon
  • 1/2 minced jalapeno
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Salt to taste

Cheesy Bacon Popcorn

Drizzle 1 tablespoon bacon drippings on 4 cups hot popcorn. Add 3 tbsp crumbled cooked bacon and 1/4 cup each grated Parmesan and cheddar. Toos well.

Bacon Butter 

Chop 2 slices of cooked bacon after draining. Combine 1 stick softened butter with the bacon drippings and 2 tbsp maple syrup. Stir in the chopped bacon.

Conclusion

In this article, we answered the question “How long is bacon good for?”, and how to safely store bacon?

References

https://www.doesitgobad.com/does-bacon-go-bad/

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

Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.

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