What happens if you eat expired bacon? 

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “What happens if you eat expired bacon?” methods to detect spoilage of the bacon, storage, shelf-life, and techniques to cook the bacon.

What happens if you eat expired bacon?

If you eat expired bacon, you can develop food poisoning. This is because spoilt bacon develops harmful bacteria on it namely, E.coli, Staphylococcus, Clostridium, Bacillus, and Salmonella.

Before buying bacon, look up the sell-by date of the bacon. If it is past the sell-by date or approaching closer to it, avoid buying that bacon.

Symptoms of food poisoning include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Fever and reduced appetite
  • Headaches

If the food poisoning is severe, the following symptoms could be observed:

  • Dehydration (because of loss of excess fluids through vomiting and diarrhea). Dehydration would be characterized by a dry mouth.
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Bloody urine

If the symptoms are severe, it is better to consult a physician.

How to detect spoilt bacon?

Bacon does not have an expiry date but instead has a sell-by date. You can consume bacon past the sell-by date if it is not spoilt. Here are some of the indicators to detect spoilage in bacon.

  • Bacon should be pink in color. If the fat of the bacon is white or yellow in color, do not consume it. If the bacon has a grey or brown color with a slight blue or green color, throw it away. 

The discoloration is observed in bacon if it is exposed to air often or for a long time.

  • If the bacon has a rotten or fishy odor, it is likely to be spoilt. It should naturally have a meaty smell.
  • The bacon should naturally be tender and moist to touch. If it is slimy, it is better to discard it. When you are throwing away the bacon, make sure to wrap them in plastic and then throw it away.

Keep the spoilt bacon away from fresher ones as the spoilt ones can spoil the fresher ones too.

How to store bacon?

  • Wrap your bacon in paper towels before you store them. This will help in absorbing the moisture present in bacon and reduce spoilage. Divide them into portions before wrapping them in paper towels.
  • Storing bacon appropriately can maximize its shelf-life. Wrap the bacon in aluminum foil or plastic wrap while keeping it in the fridge. You can also place it in resealable bags too.
  • Check the bacon regularly for signs of spoilage even if you have stored it in the fridge. If you find it to be spoilt, discard them.
  • Reheat the bacon properly before using it.
  • If you are planning to store the bacon in a freezer bag and into the freezer, remove the excess air from the bag before storing it. Vacuum sealing is a good option.
  • Also, remember to avoid keeping the bacon in the freezer for a long time as this would lead to freezer burn. There can also be a change in the taste and texture of the bacon if it is kept inside the freezer for a long time.

What is the shelf-life of bacon?

Bacon should be kept in the fridge or freezer as it is perishable. If you store it in the fridge (unopened), it would last for 1-2 weeks. In the freezer, the unopened bacon would last for 5-6 months.

If the bacon has been opened, it would last for 6-7 days in the fridge. In the freezer, it would last for 5-6 months.

Cooked bacon would last for a week in the fridge while it would last for approximately 2-3 months in the freezer.

Other FAQs on bacon that you might be interested in.

How to cook the bacon?

Remember to consume the bacon only after it reaches an internal temperature of 145℉. You can insert a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the bacon. 

If you do not have a meat thermometer, look at the color of the bacon. If properly cooked, it should have a dark red or dark brown color. The fatty areas of the bacon would also thicken after cooking.

Bacon tastes best when it has a crispier texture. You can microwave the bacon or even place them on a stovetop or oven. It is also essential to avoid overcooking the bacon. Overcooking can lead to the release of carcinogens. Overcooked bacon would be black in color.


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “What happens if you eat expired bacon?” methods to detect spoilage of the bacon, storage, shelf-life, and techniques to cook the bacon.