How can you tell if your bacon is fresh bacon or bad bacon?
There are many ways to tell if it has gone bad, this is why knowing how long does bacon lasts is important.
Depending on where you live, or the origin of the product, its packaging, and storage conditions, bacon can be stored for weeks after the production date.
Storing it in a refrigerator will help increase the shelf life even longer than that.
Knowing How long does bacon lasts is important, especially if you need to fill your bacon craving!
Even though it is a perishable food, chances are you will be able to use it well after the “sell-by date”.
The shelf life of bacon depends on a variety of factors, such as the best before date, the preparation method, and how it was stored. It is highly recommended to follow storage instructions on the package label.
How long will bacon last?
Unopened Bacon – Raw
Bacon will last for 5 to 7 days in the refrigerator and up to 24 hours outside of it.
Opened Bacon – Raw
Uncooked bacon can be kept for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
How long does bacon last once it’s cooked?
Once you cook bacon it will last about a week in the refrigerator and even up to one month when stored properly in a freezer bag or airtight container.
Will this bacon go bad? Probably not! This is highly processed bacon with a lot of preservatives, so probably not that good for you in large quantities, but at least it won’t go bad.
Bacon bits will last for months after the use-by date.
You can treat Turkey bacon the same as regular bacon. Use the same guidelines and always do a visual and smell test to see if you can tell if your bacon is bad or not.
You can treat Canadian Bacon the same as your regular bacon in the refrigerator. It’s a little bit higher on the meat to fat ratio, so it’ll thaw better if you choose to freeze it.
Dry Cured Bacon
This is a highly processed type of bacon and therefore it lasts for a long time on its own. Around one month in the fridge and 2-3 months in the freezer.
How do you know if Bacon is bad?
Even though can last a long time and dry-cured bacon can last for weeks, it might be best to check the dates.
There are certain signs that indicate whether or not the bacon has gone bad.
Expired Bacon smells sour, looks grayish, and is very sticky. Don’t use it if you notice any of these changes in your meat.
If you notice any of these signs or smells at home, throw away your bacon.
If you eat bad bacon or spoiled bacon, you could experience food poisoning.
If you think you got food poisoning from some bad bacon, it would be a good idea to consult with a medical professional as soon as possible.
How do you tell if your raw bacon has become spoiled bacon?
With an expiration date, things have gone a lot simpler when it comes to knowing your bacon was good or bad.
Raw, unopened bacon or sealed uncooked bacon is perfectly fine for up to six months in the freezer if it’s in an airtight container and sealed properly.
Cured bacon might even be able to last longer than that!
However, improperly stored bacon will go bad fast.
As soon as it’s exposed to air, humidity, or warm temperatures for a period of time, it’ll begin to get spoiled.
The first thing that might be a hint that the bacon has gone bad is if it changes color.
Its color might change from a bright to a dull pink or red and it will be much darker than normal.
Also, the fat part of the bacon has an unusual texture and may become mushy when you touch it. If this happens, don’t eat the bad bacon no matter how hungry you are – it’s spoiled.
Use your eyes
Since bacteria can contaminate your uncooked bacon it will probably have an unusual appearance.
You’ll probably be able to tell when your bacon has gone bad and is past its shelf life just by looking at it.
Fresh bacon and fresh meat in general, have white fat. This can easily be seen in raw bacon or raw pork belly, which are meats that have excess fat in them.
However, when raw meat or raw bacon begins to spoil, that fat breaks down and turns into a darker color.
That’s the easiest way how to tell if your meat is bad.
If this happens, don’t take any chances and don’t eat bacon that you think has gone bad – simply throw out the bad bacon.
Remember, spoiled foods can cause food poisoning, severe abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.
Take a deep breath
Once you test it with your eyes, and if you think that your unopened bacon slices have been stored properly and might still be fine, then you move on to the next test.
Put your bacon up to your nose and take a deep breath!
Old bacon that has gone bad will have a sour smell, the same smell that bad meat has
This should clear up any confusion you might have as to whether or not this is good bacon or bad bacon.
You can smell bad meat a mile away, so if it smells fine then you should move forward and cook bacon!
Grab your bacon!
Fresh bacon will feel soft and moist, not sticky or lumpy.
When bacon ages and gets old, lactic acid bacteria build up in it and cause the texture to change.
However, many times you might buy bacon that has flavoring in it, like Maple or Honey. This flavoring might make it feel sticky even when it’s fresh.
If this is the case, then you can use all of your senses (except taste) to determine if it’s past its shelf life and if it’s a good idea to proceed and cook your bacon.
How to tell if your cooked bacon is bad
If you have cooked bacon that you believe has gone bad and is past its expiration date, then you would do the same test as above.
Look, Smell, Touch, and then Taste
However, if your cooked bacon is just old and past its date, then maybe there’s still some hope.
See your bacon carefully
Does the bacon look fine? Is the natural pink color gone and is it brown now (since it’s cooked)?
Does anything look strange?
Smell your bacon
Fresh bacon, and cooked bacon, for that matter, both smell great.
Especially f your bacon has flavoring, it’ll smell delicious.
Even when raw, it’ll smell good or at least like nothing at all.
Some countries eat pork belly or bacon totally raw and they’re just fine! Therefore, it should be easy to smell bacon that has gone bad, whether raw or cooked.
Eating bad bacon is a high-risk activity that you don’t want to do. You don’t want to risk abdominal pain, stomach cramps, or vomiting if you don’t have to!
Touch your bacon
Just like if it was raw. Grab it and see what it feels like.
Is it sticky? Does it feel crispy and is the meat holding up fine?
If so, you can move forward to the next step.
Taste your bacon
If your bacon was cooked and you’ve done all the above, then it should be fine.
If the bacon still tastes fresh and good to you, then there’s no problem eating old or bacon that is past the sell-by date or use by date.
It’s important to note that the sell-by date or use-by date are both not an expiration dates!
This is simply an indicator that the grocery store can use to guide them when to sell their food or when to trash it.
Best way to store bacon
If you find yourself with too much leftover bacon that you already cooked, or with too much bacon that you bought that you can’t cook, then there’s good news!
Storing cooked bacon and freezing bacon are both super easy.
For cooked bacon – wrap it in a paper towel and then in plastic wrap or Ziploc bag. You can store your bacon like this for up to six months in the freezer or in the refrigerator for around a week.
For raw bacon – wrap it in aluminum foil and then put it in a Ziploc type of bag with a tight seal. You can store it in the freezer for months or in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.
Frozen bacon that’s raw ends up thawing out well. So if you want to freeze bacon, it’s not really a problem.
However, if you want to store cooked bacon, freezing it isn’t that good of an idea. It just doesn’t thaw out the same, but can still be done.
Wrapping up with How to tell if bacon is bad
If your bacon feels soft, has a strange color and texture, or smells sour then it’s time to throw away that piece of bacon.
You can try smelling it, touching it, or tasting it but if all of those senses agree with you that the food is bad then don’t take any risks!
Throw out old bacon and save yourself from any unwanted stomach pains.
If you use your senses and the bacon looks fine, smells fresh, and tastes good then it should be just fine to eat!
However, if you’re still worried about eating old or bad bacon maybe it’s best not to consume anything at all.
We hope that you enjoyed this article from the Easy Kitchen Appliances team and also hope that you stay safe while eating tasty bacon!