Uncooked bacon can safely be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks if the package is unopened. At that point, it should either be cooked or stored in the freezer. However, if the bacon has been opened but not cooked, it will last around seven days in the fridge if properly stored.
How Should Bacon Be Stored?
When storing bacon in the fridge, keep it in its original packaging if unopened. Otherwise, store it in a sealed container or resealable plastic bag, or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Bacon should be refrigerated as soon as you arrive home from the grocery store and when not in use.
How Long Can Bacon Sit Out?
Similar to most perishable foods, bacon should not sit out at room temperature for longer than two hours. The more time that passes, there is a higher risk of the bacon reaching an unsafe temperature, creating an environment that promotes the growth of dangerous bacteria.
Can You Freeze Bacon?
Freezing bacon can extend its quality by several months. To store it properly, the goal is to eliminate as much exposure to air and moisture as possible. As a result, it should remain in its original packaging if unopened, vacuum sealed or:
- Roll each slice up individually;
- Place them on a baking tray and make sure they are not touching each other;
- Place them in the freezer.
- Once they are frozen, remove them from the baking tray and place them in a sealable freezer bag.
In the freezer, raw bacon can last up to 8 months. The safest way to thaw frozen bacon is overnight in the refrigerator or by using a microwave. However, the bacon must be cooked immediately if you use a microwave.
How Long Can Cooked Bacon Stay in the Fridge?
Cooked bacon will last between 4 to 5 days if placed in the fridge within two hours of cooking. To store it properly, wrap it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then put it in a sealed container or bag before refrigerating it. In the freezer, cooked bacon can last between 2 to 3 months. Beyond that, it can still be safe to eat, but its taste and quality will start to deteriorate.
How to Tell If Bacon Has Gone Bad?
Here are some general guidelines to help you tell whether bacon has spoiled:
- Change in Smell: Any sour or sharp smell is a strong indication that bacteria are already growing on the meat. Therefore, if it smells strange, throw it out.
- Change in Appearance: Old bacon turns from pink to grey; if your bacon has darkened or you notice signs of mold, it has gone bad.
- Change in Texture: If your raw bacon looks slimy, that is a sign of lactic acid bacteria, which can indicate that it is spoiled.
Always toss bacon as soon as you are sure that it is spoiled because it can contaminate other items in your refrigerator. If you or a loved one became sick from ingesting contaminated bacon purchased from a store or a restaurant, you may be able to recover compensation. Speak with an experienced food safety attorney from The Lange Law Firm, PLLC today to learn more.
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