Does Bacon Go Bad? – Full Analysis

by Charlie
Does Bacon Go Bad

Bacon is flavorful meat that is often served with breakfast. Packages of bacon usually come in larger sizes which may present some challenges when trying to store for a longer period of time.

Does bacon go bad? Yes, bacon does go bad, but it will take a while to do so if frozen. Frozen bacon lasts six to eight months. Uncooked bacon stored in the refrigerator can last two weeks to one month, as long as it stays at a stable temperature. An open pack of bacon lasts seven days. But cooked bacon can sit in the fridge for five days in the fridge and two weeks in the freezer.

How Long Does Bacon Last? Shelf Life [Chart]

ItemLength of time
Uncooked bacon, unopened, fridge2-4 weeks
Uncooked bacon, opened, fridge1 week
Uncooked bacon, unopened, freezer6-8 months
Cooked bacon, fridge5 days
Cooked bacon, freezer2 months

How to Store Uncooked Bacon and How Long Raw Bacon Lasts

Once you bring your favorite packet of bacon back from the store, it is important you put it away quickly, so it does not go through a temperature change. Keeping the bacon at a stable temperature is the best way to ensure it does not grow bacteria that causes it to rot quicker than it is supposed to. There are two ways to store bacon, and how long bacon last in the fridge or freezer depends on if the bag is opened or not.

Fridge

An unopened pack of bacon should never be stored in the pantry or cupboard. An unopened pack of bacon lasts two weeks to one month when it is stored in the fridge. For the best results, place the bacon into the meat drawer if your fridge has one. You should also place an unopened pack of bacon in the back of the fridge not to be exposed to warm air every time you open the refrigerator.

When you finally open a packet of bacon, there is no need to eat the entire pack. Bacon does not act like hamburger meat. You can keep an open pack of bacon in the fridge for about a week. Write down which day you opened the bacon and eat it in 7 days. However, if it is already the end of the month, it is probably best to cook the entire bacon pack and eat cooked bacon over a few days.

Freezer

Some people like to buy several packets of bacon, so they don’t have to run out to the store every time you cook breakfast. Bacon stored properly in the freezer and does not develop freezer burn will last six to eight months. So, if you have multiple packs of uncooked bacon in your grocery cart, store them in the freezer, and they will last quite a long time.

Once you thaw and open a packet of bacon from the freezer, it is not a good idea to seal it up and refreeze it again. Refreezing and thawing meat destroy its texture, so it will not taste as good the next time you thaw it out. It is best if you cook the entire packet of bacon instead of refreezing unused raw bacon.

How to Store Cooked Bacon and How Long Cooked Bacon Lasts

If you make a large serving of bacon or someone just not hungry that day, you will have some leftover bacon. Cooked bacon can either be stored in the fridge or the freezer, but you will have to store them differently.

Cooked bacon in the fridge: First, remove the bacon from the pan of fat and allow it to cool on a rack or some paper towels. Then, wipe the bacon to remove any excess grease and place the slices in a Ziplock bag or a container. Bury the bacon underneath any items that are already cold but are not heavy enough to break the bacon into pieces. Cooked bacon lasts five days in the fridge.

Cooked bacon in the freezer: To do this, wipe all of the excess grease off the slices so the grease does not freeze with the bacon. Then, place it in an airtight food storage container. It is better if it is in a container so the heavier foods cannot crush the slices. Cooked bacon lasts two weeks in the freezer.

When you want to reheat cooked bacon from the fridge or the freezer, you can either place them in the microwave for just 45 seconds or reheat them in a skillet for a minute.

How to Thaw Bacon Right from the Freezer

This section is just in case you forgot to take the bacon out of the freezer and into the fridge so we could be frost overnight. Thawing out bacon in less than an hour is no problem at all. All you can do is take the frozen package of bacon out of the freezer, place the bacon in a bowl and cover it with warm water. The water should not be so hot that it is steaming. You don’t want the bacon to cook inside the package. When the warm water in the bowl turns cold, dump it out and refill it with warm water. Continue refilling the bowl with warm water until the bacon is flexible.

How to Know if Bacon Has Gone Bad

Uncooked Bacon

When you pick up a slice of uncooked bacon, it should have a stickiness to it because it is raw meat. But raw bacon should not feel slimy. If the slice has an excessive amount of moisture, there’s a white film on your hand when you put it down; then it is too late. The bacon is already developing bacteria that will make you nauseous and might cause you to get food poisoning.

Another way to tell if bacon is bad is the smell. You will never forget the smell of raw meat because it is very pungent and sour. When you open the package of uncooked bacon, no matter if it was from the fridge or the freezer, always smell it before you cook it. Raw meat, just like raw fish, should never smell like meat, especially if it is cold.

If a packet of bacon has been sitting in the back of your fridge for far too long, there will be no need to touch the bacon or smell it. It will look rotted. When bacon rots, it will develop odd colors like blue, green, and sometimes even pink. So, if you see any of these colors on your bacon when you pull it out of the pack, just throw it away and wash your hands.

Cooked Bacon

When cooked bacon goes bad, it will start to lose its color immediately. So, the bright red and burnt red colors you see on bacon will lighten, almost as if it is turning pale. Also, cooked bacon loses its crunchiness if it is kept in the refrigerator for too long. So, when you take a bite of bacon, and it is much softer than how you cooked it, it is too old to eat.

Conclusion

  • Bacon, cooked or raw, can be stored in the fridge.
  • An unopened packet of bacon will last two weeks to one month in the fridge. 
  • In the freezer, raw bacon lasts six to eight months.
  • Once the raw bacon pack is opened, it will last seven days.
  • Cooked bacon lasts 5 days in the fridge and two months in the freezer.
  • Raw bacon will turn blue, green, or pink when it rots, and it will have a sour smell and a slimy feel.
  • Cooked bacon loses its crunchiness, and its colors will fade.
  • Frozen bacon can be defrosted quickly but repeatedly pouring warm water over it. 

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