When the smoky, meaty, aroma of bacon hits your nose, it’s hard not to salivate in anticipation. While popular as a breakfast food, bacon is much more versatile than you might think.
Add it to your favorite sandwich or burger, mix it into a salad, or even wrap it around caramelized fruit for a salty-sweet delight.
The ways to use bacon are endless– so it’s best to keep some in your fridge for that unexpected craving. If you already have some, you may be curious how long is bacon good for in the fridge.
If you are asking, does bacon go bad? Or wondering how to know if bacon is bad— you’ve come to the right place! Keep reading to learn all about how to properly store bacon in the fridge and freezer. So when that bacon desire hits, you’ll be ready!
How Long Does Bacon Last in the Fridge?
How long bacon lasts in the fridge can depend on how it’s stored. Is the bacon open or unopened? Is it cooked or uncooked? Read on to find the different time frames for each type of bacon.
So how long is bacon good in the fridge when unopened? Unopened, uncooked bacon can last up to two weeks in the fridge.
However, let’s say you’ve already snuck a slice or two from the package. Once opened, how long does bacon last? Raw, opened packages of bacon will last one more week safely in the refrigerator. Just make sure to seal it tightly, so the raw meat is not exposed to air.
If your bacon is cooked, it’ll stay good for 4-5 days in the fridge and up to 1 month in the freezer.
How To Tell If Bacon Is Bad?
If you’re wondering how to tell if bacon is bad, there are some telltale signs. When raw bacon is bad, it will change its appearance, smell, and texture.
It might smell off and taste off– but hopefully, you don’t go as far as tasting it before realizing it’s spoiled! It is key to notice changes in the following order:
- Check the “eat by” or the “best when consumed by” date on the bacon packaging. If your bacon has expired, it is not recommended to consume it.
- Observe any changes in appearance. This requires looking at the package and seeing if the consistency and color look different.
- Smell the bacon. Open the package slightly and see if you notice any unusual or off-putting smells.
- Touch the bacon with clean hands. If the texture feels different than normal, raw bacon, it is probably bad.
- Lastly, and only if the bacon has passed the previous steps, should you try eating the bacon. Make sure to cook it thoroughly before tasting. Take one bite and see if it tastes normal. If so, enjoy!
Read on to learn the specific signs of spoiled bacon in more detail.
Signs of Spoiled Bacon
- Change in color and appearance. When bacon goes bad, it starts to lose its red hue and take on a dull, grayish color.
- Strange odor. When meat goes off, it smells off. It might smell fishy, sour, rotten, or a bit like old trash that’s been piling up in the garbage. It might not be a strong smell, so make sure to open the package and get a good whiff before you begin cooking.
- Slimy texture. Bacon that’s spoiled may take on a slimy or sticky texture.
How to Prevent Bacon from Going Bad
If you want your bacon to last, a good question to ask is: How long can bacon stay in the fridge? The answer is up to two weeks unopened and only one week after opening.
However, there are other ways to help preserve your bacon:
- Check the packaging before you buy bacon. Try to buy bacon that will not expire anytime soon. Also, make sure the package is properly sealed, and the bacon looks fresh.
- Once the package is open, wrap the leftover, unused bacon in paper towels to absorb any excess, bacteria-producing moisture.
- Eat the bacon before the sell-by date.
- Eat the bacon before 1-2 weeks in the fridge, or 2-4 months in the freezer.
How Long Does Bacon Last by Type?
Bacon lasts from 4 days up to 6 months, depending on whether or not it’s opened or cooked. Storing it in the freezer will always preserve it longer. However, it’ll be much easier to cook if you keep it in the fridge.
How long do you hope to keep your bacon? To determine the best storage method, review the table below. Choose the safest method to keep that tasty bacon as fresh as possible.
|Uncooked, unopened bacon in the fridge
|Uncooked, opened bacon in fridge
|Cooked bacon in fridge
|Uncooked, unopened bacon in freezer
|Uncooked, opened bacon in freezer
|Cooked bacon in freezer
How to Properly Store Bacon
To Store Uncooked Bacon:
- Store your raw, unopened bacon in the fridge as soon as you get home.
- After opening the package, make sure to seal it properly before putting it in the fridge or freezer. It’s recommended to use plastic wrap or a Ziploc bag, or both.
To Store Cooked Bacon:
- Let it cool before sealing it with airtight packaging.
- Cooked bacon should be stored the same way as uncooked, but separately. Raw bacon will contaminate the cooked bacon.
- Put it in the fridge or freezer as soon as it is cooled and wrapped.
If you’re wondering how long bacon is good for after opening and cooking it, this depends if you put it in the fridge or freezer.
How long does cooked bacon last in the fridge? In the fridge, cooked bacon will last 4-5 days. However, cooked bacon will last 2-3 months in the freezer.
How to Store Bacon in the Fridge
Follow these instructions to store bacon in the fridge:
- If the package is open, cover the uncooked remainder tightly with plastic wrap.
- Wrap the packaging in paper towels to absorb any moisture trying to get in.
- Place at the back of the fridge to keep it at a consistent temperature of 40 degrees or less.
How to Store Bacon in the Freezer
Follow these instructions to store bacon in the freezer:
- If the bacon is uncooked, wrap the remainder of the package in airtight, plastic wrap.
- Place in a Ziploc bag with the freezing date. If you freeze items for a long time, it can be hard to remember what day it was.
- Place in the freezer.
How long is bacon good for in the freezer? If uncooked but opened, it can last about 4-6 months. However, if it was cooked beforehand, it is good for up to one month in the freezer.
Frequently asked questions
1. Can Bacon Go Bad in the Fridge?
Yes, bacon can go bad in the fridge.
So how long does bacon last in the fridge? It lasts two weeks if unopened and uncooked. Open, but uncooked bacon lasts one week in the fridge. However, if your bacon is cooked, it’ll last 4-5 days in the fridge.
2. What Happens if You Eat Old Bacon?
If you eat old bacon, you may get food poisoning. This could be mild, and you might just have a slightly upset stomach for a day or two.
However, it can also be more severe. If so, you may experience symptoms such as:
- Loose stools
- Stomach cramps
- Loss of appetite,
- Difficulty digesting food
3. How Long Is Bacon Safe to Eat After Opening?
After opening, bacon is generally good for one week. Make sure to keep it in the fridge.
However, packages often come with “best by” dates and “consume within __ days after opening” warnings. Make sure to follow these instructions to prevent any food-related illnesses.
The Best Bacon Recipe:
Bacon has the perfect mixture of salt and fat, inspiring our taste buds to cook and consume it as much as possible. And if you’re in the mood for an irresistible bacon recipe, this savory-sweet one will have your mouth watering with every bite.
- 1 pound sliced bacon
- 1 c packed brown sugar
- 1/4 c white wine or unsweetened apple juice
- 2 tbsps Dijon mustard
- Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place bacon on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for roughly ten minutes or until it starts to cook. Remove from the oven.
- Mix together sugar, apple juice, and mustard while the bacon is cooking.
- Drizzle the mixture over the bacon.
- Return to the oven for 10 minutes.
- Remove, flip bacon slices, and drizzle the leftover mixture over the top. Return to the oven for a final 10 minutes of baking.
- Let it cool before serving.
Because bacon is a cured meat, it lasts a bit longer than most. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the right precautions to avoid food-borne illnesses. Make sure to preserve and store your bacon correctly so you can eat every delicious slice. No bacon left behind.