Bacon is famous for its delicious taste and enticing smell. Like every other condiment, if you are conversant with bacon, you'd notice the sell-by-date. The sell-by-date gives an estimated period where the bacon withholds its quality before getting spoilt.
Most persons use bacon in snacks, as toppings, and also in meals. It is, however, essential to note that bacon can go bad.
How long does bacon last?
The shelf life of bacon mostly depends on the mode of storage. When bacon is stored appropriately, it helps increase the shelf life and preserve its taste and quality. Unless you are planning on freezing your bacon, it should be stored in the fridge.
- Unopened: Unopened bacon can last as long as eight months. If left uncooked, the best it could do is last for two weeks. However, it is advisable to freeze your bacon if you won't be eating it anytime soon. Unopened bacon can also be consumed two weeks after the sell-by-date.
- Opened: The opened bacon, on the other hand, is best stored in the fridge where it could last for at least a week before losing its quality. If cooked, it could last a minimum of 10 days. However, both the opened and cooked bacon stored in the freezer could last at least six months. You should note that bacon quality reduces at room temperature; hence, when bacon is left for at least 2 hours, bacteria's action becomes visible. Such bacon should be tossed immediately.
How to tell if bacon is bad?
There are various means of determining if your bacon is safe to eat or should be tossed. Be sure to check your bacon for these features in other to avoid food poisoning. If any or some of these features are found on your bacon, you probably need to dispose of the bacon as soon as possible.
- Look: You could tell if your bacon is bad from the look. If you notice a change in your bacon's color or texture, it probably indicates your bacon is spoilt. The color changes from the natural red to brownish or greyish coloration indicate the action of bacteria on your bacon. Disposing of the bacon will surely be the right choice.
- Smell: Once your bacon smells anything different or begins to smell rotten, it isn't good and should be tossed.
- Touch: If after those mentioned above, you are still not confused, your bacon is spoilt, with clean hands, feel your bacon. If it feels slimy, it's probably bad and should be tossed immediately
How to store bacon?
Bacon is best stored in the freezer. However, if you'd be consuming it sooner, you could store it in the fridge. In other to increase the overall shelf life of the bacon, you should consider storing it appropriately. Do not leave your bacon at room temperature.
- Starters: For starters, it is advisable that you freeze your bacon after every use. It's better prevented that being sorry.
- Raw bacon: Either opened or unopened, raw bacon should be kept in the freezer to help prevent its quality from deteriorating.
- Store-bought (Opened/Unopened): The store-bought bacon is mostly kept in the freezer. This helps to keep the quality intact. However, for the opened store-bought bacon, it is advisable you consume them in less than a week; else, it begins to lose its quality.
- Cooked bacon: Your cooked bacon is better stored in the fridge, but you need to package them in containers, foils, or zip-lock bags before storing them. It could last a maximum of 10 days before deterioration starts.
- Unsliced slabs: They are best stored in the freezer. However, one must be very careful because storing bacon in the freezer might change the bacon's taste with little change in temperature.
Can you freeze bacon?
Absolutely yes! Bacon is best preserved by freezing. If you won't be cooking them sooner, it's best to freeze them in other to keep the quality intact. Frozen bacon could last for at least eight months if adequately frozen.
Can you eat spoilt bacon?
It would be best if you didn't eat spoilt bacon. It would help if you tossed the bacon once you notice a deviation from the bacon's typical smell, appearance, or taste. Eating spoilt bacon will lead to food poisoning, which is bad for your health. Some of the symptoms of food poisoning include abdominal pains, stooling, diarrhea, etc.
The shelf-life of bacon could range from a few days to months, depending on the storage method. However, bacon is best stored in the freezer to increase its shelf-life.
To determine bacon's shelf life, you have to consider the mode of storage, if the bacon is cooked or uncooked, opened or unopened, and the type of bacon being considered.
Proper storage could help understand the preventive measures to adopt to keep the quality of your condiments intact.