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Can Bacon Go Bad?

Bacon is an extremely popular meat in many regions and there are tons of people who can’t imagine starting their day without a slice or two of fried bacon. But there are also many people wondering “can bacon go bad”.

As you probably know, it can go bad, so the more important questions concern its shelf life and storage – how long can it be stored and will still be tasty, how it should be stored, etc.

If you’re looking for answers to those questions, you’re in the right place.

Uncooked bacon
Uncooked bacon

Storing bacon

Bacon should be stored in the fridge. Unless you want to freeze it, then of course, it should be kept in the freezer.

The refrigerator is the best place to keep every kind of bacon: raw opened or unopened, cooked, bacon slices, or leftovers. Just make sure it’s wrapped properly (if it’s opened).

Cooked bacon
Cooked bacon

After cooking bacon, make sure it’s cooled before you transfer it into the fridge. That might take an hour when it’s sitting on the counter or much less if you decide to put it in the pantry and let it cool down there.

After cooking bacon, make sure to save the remaining bacon grease for later use.

Once it’s cold, wrap it with plastic wrap and transfer into the fridge. Or put the cooked slices into a freezer bags or airtight containers.

Frying bacon: closeup
Frying bacon: closeup

Shelf life of bacon

Vacuum-sealed raw bacon in an unopened package will be fine until the best-by date and a couple of days longer (a week or so).

If you want to store it for a longer period, put the package into the freezer right away. It can sit there for additional 2 months or a little longer.

If you plan to keep it in the freezer for longer, wrap the package once again before freezing. This way, you help prevent freezer burn.

If the package is already opened, the rule of thumb is to eat the bacon within a week or so.

Three slices of cooked bacon plus breakfast
Three slices of cooked bacon plus breakfast

If you want to keep it for longer, freeze it. If that’s the case, wrapping it well is very important – use plastic wraps and freezer bags.

The longer you plan to freeze it, the better it should be wrapped (consider wrapping it twice).

If you consider freezing, slicing the bacon before freezing and making a few portions might be a great idea. This way you’ll be able to thaw as many slices as needed at a time and you won’t be forced to thaw all the bacon at once.

When it comes to cooked bacon, it should taste great for a couple of days. Of course you can freeze it as well (remember to wrap it properly).

Drying cooked bacon
Drying cooked bacon

How to tell that bacon is bad

This part is quite easy. If you know how good bacon looks like and tastes, you’ll know if the bacon is bad.

Basically, it changes its color – it might become somewhat brownish, grayish or even greenish.

Another thing is the smell of the meat. If it smells off foul, or funny, it’s bad.

Change of color, smell, and taste, those are sure signs that bacon has gone bad and should be discarded.

Bread, bacon, and scrambled eggs
Bread, bacon, and scrambled eggs

Also, if you’ve stored it for a much longer period than mentioned earlier, I’d advise you to discard it, even if it seems fine.

Summary
As you should know by know, bacon can go bad and it happens quite quickly (especially after it’s cooked).

If you need to store it for longer than its shelf life, consider freezing it. Remember about wrapping it properly, though.

Pan frying bacon
Pan frying bacon