How Long Does Bacon Last in the Fridge? (And Signs It's Bad) (2023)

If you’re wondering how long bacon will last in the fridge before going bad, you’re in the right place!

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • How long bacon lasts in the fridge
  • If you can eat bacon after it sits out overnight
  • And much more!

How Long Does Bacon Last in the Fridge? (And Signs It's Bad) (1)

How Long Does Bacon Last in the Fridge?

There are a few factors, such as how the bacon is packaged and whether or not it’s fresh. Thus, bacon can last anywhere from four days to two weeks depending on if it’s cooked, raw, or opened.

Bacon is a versatile and popular food, but it’s also perishable. That means that it doesn’t last forever and needs to be stored properly if you want to keep it fresh.

For more specific timeframes for your situation, keep reading.

Jump To A Section

(Video) Is it ok to eat brown meat? | Jess Pryles

How Long Does Raw Bacon Last in the Fridge?

Generally speaking, unopened raw bacon will last in the fridge for about two weeks.However, once you open the package, you should consume it within a week.

Many factors determine how long raw bacon will last in the fridge, like how it’s packaged, how it’s been stored, and the temperature of your fridge. Moreover, if you bought a package of bacon that is already sliced, it will only last for less than a week in the fridge.

If you want your sliced bacon to last longer, you can put it in the freezer, and it will last for up to six months.

It’s important to remember that bacon is a perishable product and needs to be handled properly to reduce the risk of food poisoning. Also, make sure to cook bacon thoroughly before eating it.

How to Store Bacon in the Fridge

It’s critical to store your bacon properly, so it lasts in the fridge for as long as possible.

Here are a few tips:

  • Put it in the coldest part of your fridge: The temperature in the fridge door is warmer than the rest of the fridge, so bacon stored there will go bad more quickly.
  • Wrap it up: If you’re not going to eat your bacon right away, make sure to wrap it up tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
  • Don’t let it touch: When you’re storing bacon in the fridge, try to keep it in a single layer so that air can circulate it. If it’s touching other meat or food, it could contaminate them and make them go bad sooner.

Related >> How to Make Homemade Bacon

How Long Does Cooked Bacon Last in the Fridge?

Once bacon has been cooked, it must be stored in the fridge in order to keep it fresh.

Cooked bacon will last about 5 to 7 days in the fridge when sealed in an airtight container. While it is possible to make it last longer by freezing it, there are many ways to use leftover bacon, so we hope you aren’t planning to keep yours that long.

Can You Eat Cooked Bacon That Has Been Left Out Overnight?

It is not safe to eat bacon that has been left out overnight.

As a general rule, you should throw away any cooked food that has been sitting out at room temperature for more than two hours.

(Video) How To Tell If Pork Has Gone Bad

Cooked bacon is a perishable food and needs to be refrigerated within two hours of cooking. If it’s left out at room temperature for too long, bacteria will start to grow and can cause food poisoning.

Even if you refrigerate your bacon promptly, it’s still only safe to eat for four to five days. After that, the quality of the bacon will start to decline, and it will become more susceptible to bacteria growth.

Since bacon is such a fatty food, it can go bad quickly.

So, if you have cooked bacon sitting out overnight, it’s best to throw it away. It’s not worth the risk of getting sick. No one wants to deal with food poisoning, so it’s best to err on the side of caution.

This may be a hard pill to swallow if you’re looking at a plate of delicious bacon, but it’s not worth gambling with your health. Play it safe and throw away any bacon that has been left out overnight.

Read Also >> How to Reheat Pulled Pork

How Long Does Bacon Last in the Fridge? (And Signs It's Bad) (2)

What Happens if You Eat Bad Bacon?

You can get toxoplasmosis, trichinosis, and tapeworms if you eat raw bacon or bacon that has gone bad.

Any type of undercooked or raw meat increases the risk of getting sick by harboring viruses, bacteria, and parasites.

Symptoms of food poisoning include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Chest pain
  • Dehydration
  • Abdominal cramps

Every year, 48 million people in the United States become ill from food contamination, with the majority of cases stemming from raw or rotten meat.

If you experience any of these symptoms after eating bacon, it’s best to go to the hospital to be on the safe side. Food poisoning can be serious, especially for young children, the elderly, or people with weakened immune systems.

Bad bacon can contain harmful bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli. These bacteria can cause serious illness or even death.

If you think the bacon you ate might be bad, it’s best to see a doctor as soon as possible. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to food poisoning.

Read Also >> How Long Do Ribs Last in the Fridge?

Can You Freeze Bacon?

You can freeze cooked or uncooked bacon as a way to extend its shelf life.

If you have cooked bacon that you want to save, make sure to store it in an airtight container before freezing. It will help keep the bacon fresh and prevent freezer burn.

You can also freeze raw bacon. Raw bacon will last for up to 12 to 18 months in the freezer.

If you’re worried about your bacon going bad, pop it in the freezer and enjoy it later.

Just make sure to thaw and cook the bacon thoroughly before eating it. It will kill any harmful bacteria that may have grown while the bacon was frozen.

(Video) Is Hamburger Meat Spoiled When It Turns Grey or Brown Before Cooking? : Meat Preparation Tips

How To Tell if Bacon Is Bad

All meat, including bacon, can go bad if not stored or cooked properly. It is because meat is a breeding ground for bacteria. So, how can you tell if your bacon has gone bad?

The Bacon Has an “Off” Odor

Bacon that has gone bad will often have an odor. It can be a sign that the bacon is starting to spoil. You’ll know the bacon is bad if the smell is sour, fishy, rotting, or makes you feel sick. It’s best to discard any bacon that smells bad.

The Bacon Is Slimy or Spongy

Bacon that is in excellent condition is soft, fresh, and moist. If the bacon is slimy or spongy, it’s a sign of spoilage. It means the meat has been contaminated with bacteria and should not be eaten. It’s best to dispose of any bacon that is slimy or spongy.

The Bacon Has Changed Colors

If you’re not sure whether your bacon is still good to eat, it’s a good idea to check the color. Your bacon is still safe if it retains its natural pink color with white or yellow fat. If your bacon has turned brown or gray with a green or blue tinge, it has already spoiled. Excessive air exposure causes a chemical reaction on the meat, which results in color change.

Remember, if you have any doubts about whether or not your bacon is safe to eat, it’s best to throw it out. You don’t want to take any chances with your health.

Read Also >> How to Reheat Ribs

How to Prevent Bacon From Going Bad

Bacon is so delicious that you are likely looking to keep yours good for as long as possible. To prevent your bacon from going bad, you will need to store it properly.

How to Store Bacon

Bacon, whether cooked or raw, is always best stored in the fridge in an airtight container. This can be either a Ziploc bag or a glass container. We prefer the Ziploc bag method because you are able to squeeze all the air out of the bag before placing it in the freezer.

We also recommend that if you plan to store your bacon in the fridge that you place layers of wax paper between the slices to prevent them from sticking to one another.

How Long is Bacon Safe to Eat After Opening?

Once a package of bacon has been opened, no matter what the date says, it may go bad much sooner. This happens because the bacon has now been exposed to air and bacteria.

In general, bacon is safe to eat for one week after opening as long as you place it in a plastic bag or another airtight container.

(Video) Signs That Your Meat Has Gone Bad

How Long Does Bacon Grease Last?

Bacon grease is one of the best things to save and use for future recipes! So next time you cook bacon, instead of tossing it out, place it in a jar and push it into the fridge.

Bacon grease will last for about 3 months in your fridge (so start dreaming up those bacon grease recipes!) Or for up to a year when placed in the freezer. Just be sure if you plan to freeze your bacon grease that, you store it in a non-glass, freezer-safe container.

Final Thoughts on Safely Storing Bacon

If you’re looking for a tasty and healthy breakfast, lunch, or dinner option that’s quick to make and easy on the budget, then bacon may be your answer.

This article has given some helpful tips about how long bacon lasts in the fridge, how to tell if bacon is bad, and how you can extend its shelf life by freezing it.

Whether cooking for yourself or feeding a large crowd, bacon is always a good choice. Just remember to handle and cook it properly to avoid food poisoning.

So, how do you like your bacon — chewy or extra crispy? Let us know in the comments below! Thanks for reading!

Learn More About Grilling

If you want tolearn more about grilling, check out these other helpful resources!

When Do Weber Grills Go On Sale? (Discounts, Deals, and More! )
How to Get More Smoke Flavor From Your Pellet Grill (7 Methods)
How to Clean a Pellet Grill (in 5 Easy Steps)
Top 5 Best Pellet Gas Combo Grill (2023 Review)
Weber 70th Anniversary Kettle Grill (In-Depth Review)
Griddle vs Grill (Which is Better?)
(Video) The #1 Food for Toxic Kidneys


What does bad bacon smell like? ›

Smell. Fresh bacon will always have its natural meaty smell. Your bacon is spoiled if it smells sour, fishy, rotting, or just really unpleasant. Bacteria growth and rancidity can make bacon smell nasty.

What happens if you cook bad bacon and eat it? ›

Bacon that has been spoiled by bacterial growth can cause food poisoning, which may result in symptoms like stomach cramps, severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, high fever and diarrhea.

Can I eat bacon 2 weeks out of date? ›

While the USDA advises you to adhere to "use by" dates, the "sell by" dates, once again, don't matter much. If left unopened, you can keep bacon in the fridge (40 degrees Fahrenheit) for two weeks. Once you open it, you have seven days to eat the bacon.

What does spoiled bacon look like? ›

Signs of spoilage

When spoiled, the signature red hue of your bacon may start to become dull and fade into a grey, brown, or greenish color. Spoiled bacon may also be slimy or sticky rather than soft and moist. Bacon that has a sour smell or rotting odor should also be thrown out, as this is another sign of spoilage.

How long is uncooked bacon good in the fridge? ›

Information. You can keep bacon in the refrigerator at 40 ºF or below for one week. Bacon can also be frozen at 0 ºF for four months (for best quality). For more information about bacon and storage of other bacon products, go to Bacon and Food Safety.

Is it okay to eat expired bacon? ›

Don't eat any bacon that's past its “use by” date. The “sell by” date is a little different: properly stored bacon can be eaten up to 7 days past its “sell by” date. Note that properly frozen bacon can last far beyond its "sell by" or "use by" dates.

Can bacon give you food poisoning? ›

Bacon is salt-cured meat cut from pig belly. It's unsafe to eat this popular breakfast item raw due to an increased risk of food poisoning. Instead, you should cook bacon thoroughly — but be careful not to overcook it, as doing so can increase the formation of carcinogens.

How long does vacuum sealed bacon last in the fridge? ›

Vacuum Sealed Bacon

According to the USDA, a sealed package of unopened bacon will last 2 weeks. For optimum flavor and taste we recommend that you cook and eat any bacon you buy at the store within 7 days.

Why is my bacon slimy but not expired? ›

The reason Bacon goes slimy is because Lactic acid bacteria create a slime formation on the meat.

What are the black spots in bacon? ›

Bacteria, Carnimonas nigrificans, was found responsible for the development of these spots, or black spots in cured meat products. Its development is favored by the addition of dextrose, maltose or dextrin, while inhibited by the addition of sodium nitrite or potassium bisulphite.

Can I eat cooked bacon after 7 days? ›

Generally, cooked bacon should be eaten within four to five days after cooking. To extend the shelf life of your cooked bacon, you can store it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly with aluminum foil and place it in the refrigerator.

How long do you have after the sell-by date? ›

Sell-By Date

Stores use this date to know when to remove products from shelves. You can eat food after the sell-by date. For example, dairy products are good for 1 week after the sell-by date. Eggs are safe for 3 to 5 weeks after the sell-by date.

How long is meat good after use by date? ›

"For poultry or ground meat, eating the food one to two days past the date should be ok, and for beef, three to five days after the date has passed," says Schapiro.

What is the white stuff on bacon? ›

Basically, that residue is mostly water, along with denatured proteins from the meat. When meat is cooked and the cells expel moisture, there are a lot of dissolved proteins which sometimes make the liquid light-colored and thick. People tend to notice it more with certain meats than others.

How long is vacuum sealed bacon good for after expiration date? ›

Here are the guidelines to keep in mind: Per the USDA, vacuum-sealed packages will remain safe to eat for seven days past the sell-by date, which in some cases might be weeks after you purchased it at the store.

How do you know if bacon is off Reddit? ›

Signs of Spoiled Bacon:
  1. Look- Your bacon is still safe if it still has it's a natural pink color with the fat being white or yellow. ...
  2. Smell- Fresh bacon will always have its natural meaty smell. ...
  3. Touch- Good bacon is soft, fresh, and moist.
Jul 2, 2020

Do you need to refrigerate bacon up after opening? ›

Refrigeration is optional for Bacon Up.

That's normal and does not reduce its quality. For long-term storage, we recommend keeping Bacon Up at temperatures below 80°F.

How long is pork good after the sell by date? ›

How Long is Pork Good for After Its Sell By Date? According to the USDA, you should use or freeze fresh pork – or any fresh meat – between 3 to 4 days past its sell-by date. What is this? This general rule stands for pork chops, pork tenderloin, pork roasts, fresh sausage, and any raw pork products really.

Why you shouldn't freeze bacon? ›

Cured meats have a short shelf life, even in the freezer, because of the high fat content and the development of rancid flavors. Rancidity develops even in the freezer and the presence of the curing salts hastens its development. The Food Marketing Institute recommends that opened bacon not be frozen.

Can you eat 2 year old frozen bacon? ›

Yes, it is safe to eat 2 year old frozen bacon, as long as it has been kept in the freezer the entire time. Even if it has been stored for longer than two years, it is still generally safe to eat, though the quality and taste may have significantly declined.

Can bacon get botulism? ›

Since dry cured, uncooked hams and dry cured bacon are vulnerable to the growth of C. botulinum it would be extremely unwise to decrease nitrite levels in these products without further study.

Can bacon give you botulism? ›

To prevent botulism (a relatively rare foodborne illness most often caused by improper home canning), sodium nitrite in the form of curing salt is often also used in cured and processed meats. But because bacon is fried before eating, botulism isn't an issue, so the use of curing salt is considered optional.

Is Listeria found in bacon? ›

Bacon, and raw meats in general, can contain the bacteria listeria. Listeria can cause an infection called listeriosis, which can cross the placenta, and present serious problems for a baby.

Does vacuum sealed meat go bad in the fridge? ›

Vacuum sealing can extend the fridge life of meats as well, but because anaerobic bacteria can grow at temperatures above 3°F, all vacuum-packed refrigerated meats should be unsealed and cooked within 10 days.

How long does unopened bacon last in the fridge past expiration date? ›

How long does an unopened packaged of bacon last in the refrigerator? After bacon is purchased, it may be kept refrigerated for about 1 week after the "sell-by" date on the package if it has been properly stored.

How long is bacon good in a plastic bag? ›

In general, if stored correctly in a sealed container, a zip-top plastic bag, or an airtight bag, cooked bacon will last for up to 5 days in the refrigerator — as long as it's not past its original expiration date.

Can I wash slimy bacon? ›

Washing raw bacon before cooking it is not recommended. Any bacteria that might be present on the surface would be destroyed by cooking.

What does spoiled bacon grease look like? ›

To determine if your bacon fat is still good for consumption, give it a sniff test. If it has a sour or rancid odor, then it has gone bad and should be discarded. Another way to tell if bacon fat has gone bad is by looking at its color. If it has turned from white to yellow, then it is no longer safe to consume.

What does rancid bacon grease smell like? ›

What does bad bacon grease smell like? Since the grease is from bacon, it naturally has a natural meaty smell. However, once the bacon grease is spoiled, you will notice a sour, rotting, and sometimes fishy odor. If your grease does have this smell, it's best to throw it away!

Can you eat bacon with white spots? ›

Cooked meat can get mouldy if left too long in the fridge, so if you see small fuzzy white or blue spots on your bacon, it's definitely not safe for consumption. The bacon is sticky. If your raw bacon is still soft and just a bit moist, it's safe to eat.

What bacteria does bacon have? ›

Staphylococcus aureus, Toxoplasmosis gondii, Campylobacter, Yersinia enterocolitica, and Listeria monocytogenes bacteria can all contaminate raw pork. Bacterial contamination can occur on the surface of any food if someone handles it who carries the bacteria or if cross-contamination occurs during processing.

What does dark spots on meat mean? ›

Brown spots on steak are often caused by a process known as oxidation. According to the US Department of Agriculture, this is a chemical change in myoglobin due to the oxygen content, and it's a normal and expected part of refrigerator storage.

How long do you have to cook bacon before it's safe to eat? ›

You should cook regular-cut bacon for a minimum of 12 minutes. But if you have thick bacon strips, you can cook them for a minimum of 20 minutes. Note: You should buy a rack specifically for meat products if you don't already have one.

How do you store cooked bacon for a week? ›

Once the meat is cool to the touch, place it in an airtight bag. Remove as much air as possible before sealing the bag and placing it in the refrigerator. By following this method, your bacon should stay fresh for up to five days.

How do you store bacon in the fridge? ›

Storing Raw Bacon

Packaged sliced bacon can be kept in its unopened vacuum-sealed package in the refrigerator up to a week past the expiration date. Once opened, keep it tightly wrapped in foil or a zip-top bag and use within one week.

What foods don't expire? ›

9 Foods That Never Expire (Ever)
  • Honey. Thanks to the magic handiwork of bees (they have special enzymes that basically inhibit bacterial growth) and the way it's processed for storage, honey is the longest lasting of the bunch. ...
  • Rice. ...
  • Instant Coffee. ...
  • White Vinegar. ...
  • Vanilla Extract. ...
  • Salt. ...
  • Dried Beans. ...
  • Sugar.
Sep 7, 2016

What to do if you eat spoiled meat? ›

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you feel sick due to the consumption of spoiled meat, drink water to prevent dehydration, which can be caused by food poisoning symptoms.

Can you eat eggs 2 months out of date? ›

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, eggs can be sold for up to 30 days after they were packaged. So when your eggs' expiration date has passed, they could be two months old—and still more than likely safe to eat.

Can you eat slightly expired meat? ›

Bacteria can grow in enormous numbers on bad meat, so even a small amount of uncooked or spoiled meat can spread bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli. When it comes to meat, poultry, or fish, think, “When in doubt, don't.” That is, if you're unsure whether it's safe to eat or not, don't eat it.

How do you know when meat has gone bad? ›

Spoiled meat will have a distinct, pungent smell that will make your face scrunch up. Texture – In addition to an unpleasant scent, spoiled meats can be sticky or slimy to the touch. Color – Rotten meats will also undergo a slight change in color. Poultry should be anywhere from a bluish-white to yellow in color.

Does bacon go bad if left in fridge? ›

Once you open that package, bacon's shelf life shortens whether you cook it or not. Raw bacon in a package that has been opened and re-sealed will last up to a week in the fridge, and cooked bacon will last four to five days if it's properly stored. You can also store bacon in the freezer.

Can you eat expired bacon in the fridge? ›

Don't eat any bacon that's past its “use by” date. The “sell by” date is a little different: properly stored bacon can be eaten up to 7 days past its “sell by” date. Note that properly frozen bacon can last far beyond its "sell by" or "use by" dates.

How long is bacon good in the fridge after thawing? ›

Once it's thawed in the fridge, how long will it stay good unopened? Editor: According to the USDA, fresh or thawed bacon should be used within 7 days. Technically, frozen food will stay safe to eat nearly indefinitely, but for the sake of quality and taste we tend to freeze bacon no more than a few months.

What do I do if I ate bad bacon? ›

Bad bacon can contain harmful bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli. These bacteria can cause serious illness or even death. If you think the bacon you ate might be bad, it's best to see a doctor as soon as possible.

How long is vacuum sealed pork good for in the fridge? ›

Raw Meats – Raw meats can be kept up to 10 day when vacuum packed before needing to be cooked or frozen. In comparison, raw meat that is not vacuum packed will only last 3-5 days in the refrigerator before turning.

Can you eat bacon out of the package? ›

The bottom line

Bacon is salt-cured meat cut from pig belly. It's unsafe to eat this popular breakfast item raw due to an increased risk of food poisoning. Instead, you should cook bacon thoroughly — but be careful not to overcook it, as doing so can increase the formation of carcinogens.

Can I refreeze thawed bacon? ›

You sure can, but only if the bacon was safely thawed in the refrigerator no more than seven days before you refreeze it, according to USDA guidelines. Bacon that was thawed at room temperature, in the microwave, or under running water is not safe to refreeze.

Is 2 year old frozen bacon still good? ›

Yes, it is safe to eat 2 year old frozen bacon, as long as it has been kept in the freezer the entire time. Even if it has been stored for longer than two years, it is still generally safe to eat, though the quality and taste may have significantly declined.


1. Dr. Peter Attia — The Science and Art of Longevity
(Tim Ferriss)
2. Chia Seeds - 3 things that Chia Seeds are NOT
(The Habits Doctor)
3. Toilet Tank Trick Plumbers DON'T WANT YOU TO KNOW! 💥😳 (it's better than vinegar & fabuloso)
(Andrea Jean Cleaning)
4. Don't Ignore These Early Symptoms of Parasites In Your Body
5. WHAT WILL HAPPEN if You Eat Oatmeal Every Day? (Shock Answer)
6. Huge Stock up at the Grocery Discount Store - A 2.5 hour Family Road Trip
(Poor and Posh)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Arline Emard IV

Last Updated: 04/06/2023

Views: 5369

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (72 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Arline Emard IV

Birthday: 1996-07-10

Address: 8912 Hintz Shore, West Louie, AZ 69363-0747

Phone: +13454700762376

Job: Administration Technician

Hobby: Paintball, Horseback riding, Cycling, Running, Macrame, Playing musical instruments, Soapmaking

Introduction: My name is Arline Emard IV, I am a cheerful, gorgeous, colorful, joyous, excited, super, inquisitive person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.