Last Updated on May 9, 2023 by Practical Cooks
People love their bacon. So much so, that the National Pork Board states that 53% of American households have bacon in their fridge at any given time. Sometimes that bacon sits too long in the fridge and turns brown.
If it’s brown, it means it’s been exposed to bacteria in the air and it’s sat long enough to cause spoilage. It could make you sick, but even if it doesn’t, it’s not going to taste good.
Other signs that your bacon is no longer good are:
- other colors like gray, blue, or green
- fishy or rotten smell
- feels slimy or sticky
A good, fresh piece of bacon will be pink in color and the streaks of fat will be white or very pale yellow.
How Long Is Bacon OK To Eat After Opening?
Once you open the bacon package, the meat becomes exposed to potential bacteria and fungus in the air. Even if you reseal it, the chemical reaction that will lead to spoilage has begun.
Bacon will last for about a week in the fridge after it’s been opened. If you’d like to keep your bacon longer, seal it in an airtight container and stick it in the freezer. It will stay fresh for up to a month.
If you’re storing cooked bacon, it will last 4-5 days in the fridge and up to 4 months in the freezer.
Related: What Are The Most Common Types of Bacon? (Plus Recipes!)
How Long Will Unopened Bacon Last?
An unopened package of bacon will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week past the “sell by” date. Be sure to check it carefully before using it. The unopened package will last 4-6 months past the “sell by” date if stored in the freezer.
How Long Can Bacon Be Kept At Room Temperature?
Bacon should sit out no longer than 2 hours at temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 Celsius). Bacteria grow quickly above that temperature.
Can You Eat Raw Bacon?
Bacon is pork. Raw pork can contain bacteria and parasites ( tape and roundworms) commonly found in pigs.
The only way to ensure all the harmful organisms are killed is to fully cook the bacon. So, while you can choose to eat it, it could make you seriously ill.
What Should You Look For When Buying Bacon?
According to the USDA, when buying bacon you should look for:
- long veins of pink meat
- the “sell by” date
- small amounts of fat
- brands with a reputation for quality (cheap bacon is injected with chemicals like nitrates)