Wondering if that package of bacon you opened last week is still safe to use? Here we will tell you just how long you can safely keep different types of bacon
Bacon! There's nothing quite like it and it sure is mouthwatering when you smell it sizzling away as it cooks!
Of course, there is an expiration date on your package of bacon, but that only tells you how long it lasts when unopened and stored in the fridge. So, how long does bacon actually last once opened?
Depending on how you store bacon and whether it is cooked or not can have a big effect on how long it will last. Another factor to consider is the type of bacon you have bought.
As a general rule of thumb, packages of bacon that have not been opened will last in the fridge for about two weeks and up to eight months in the freezer.
Bacon that has been opened, but not cooked, will last for about a week in the fridge and up to six months in the freezer.
Cooked bacon can be kept in the fridge for up to five days and up to one month in the freezer.
Different kinds of bacon
There are actually several kinds of 'bacon'. All the varieties listed below (except for Canadian bacon) have the same shelf life as mentioned above:
- Canadian bacon (also called Irish, English or back bacon) - similar to ham, thick-cut lean strips typically from the loin
- Pancetta - cut from the pork belly like regular bacon, but has a different curing process; it usually sold in cubes or very thinly sliced
- Turkey bacon - a healthier version of ‘bacon’ which comes from dark and light meat of a turkey, seasoned to taste similar to bacon and shaped like bacon.
- Beef bacon - is cut from the short plate of a cow, marbled with fat and is generally sliced in thick wedges.
Cooked Canadian bacon only lasts for about three to four days in the fridge and up to eight weeks in the freezer.
How to store bacon
Proper storage is a key factor in making sure that your bacon lasts as long as possible.
Any open package of bacon should be wrapped tightly in foil or put into an air-tight container to help keep it fresh prior to freezing or returning to the fridge.
To store cooked bacon, you should divide it into smaller, usable portions that are placed into paper towel before freezing.
If you have a chunk of unsliced bacon, always wrap it in foil or place it in an air-tight container to keep it fresh for a few weeks. Unlike sliced bacon, slabs of bacon should not be frozen.
How to tell if bacon is spoiled
To determine whether or not your bacon is spoiled, you will need to look for tell-tale signs in its appearance, texture and smell. Of course, any signs of spoilage means you should discard the bacon right away.
Bacon typically has a red color to it, but once spoiled it turns grey, green or brownish and should not be consumed.
Fresh bacon tends to have a moist feel to it and is soft, whereas spoiled bacon may have a slimy or sticky sort of texture.
Bacon that has a distinct rotten or sour smell should immediately be discarded as it is not safe to eat.