How To Tell If Bacon Is Bad? Here Are The 4 Signs For You To Find Out!

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Bacon is one of the world’s most popular dishes due to its highly fragrant flavor and irresistible taste. It makes you feel like you’re having a lavish Sunday breakfast.

You might have observed that it is becoming more widespread and costly nowadays. Although most packages include a sell-by expiration, which does not indicate how long you may safely eat it.

This dish is great, but it may spoil simply like other meat if not properly stored. Because this food has excess fat and moisture, it’s more susceptible to bacterial infection and can easily get rotten.

How To Tell If Bacon Is Bad
Photo: flickr

How to tell if bacon is bad? If you surmise that your food may be bad, don’t stress too much! There are a few basic techniques that you may use to identify bad bacon, such as smelling, looking, touching, and checking the expiry date.

This article will recommend the most useful tips to find out the common signs of spoiled bacon and ways to store it properly. Let’s scroll down!

How To Tell If Bacon Is Bad? Signs of Spoiled Bacon

Waiting no longer! Let’s jump right away into the most practical and helpful methods to tell whether your bacon is good or bad.

Check The Expiry Date On The Bacon Packet

Checking the expiry date on the packaging is one of the most straightforward methods to determine whether your food is bad or not.

The manufacturer warns that bacon should be edible within seven days. According to USDA, you have to refrigerate this food immediately after purchasing from the store and store it for less than one week.

You can save time and money by checking the expiry date right in the store. When checking the “use by” date, you notice that it expired, which means your food is not safe to eat anymore.

It would help if you distinguished between the “use by” and “sell-by” dates. While inspecting the packaging, detect the black printed numbers and text.

The “sell-by” mark indicates that you should consume it as soon as possible, which means this food is still good enough to consume.

If you are still worried after checking the expiry date, there are a few other solutions to see if this food has gone bad. It will be best before date is written on the product packaging.


Whether packaged or served, fresh bacon should have a pleasant aroma, similar to fresh pork.

If it has a harsh, strange, and unpleasant odor, as if it’s decaying, it’s a sure sign that your food has been contaminated with germs and is not safe to eat. You should throw it away immediately!

The sign is extremely obvious, so It’s also unnecessary to inhale excessively. Any stench will quickly become apparent.

After smelling but you are still confused about whether it is good or spoiled, you should not eat it. Funky smells are typically the signs of bacterial growth, and you will never want to ingest this stuff.


Normally, fresh bacon will have a pinkish color and white or sometimes yellowish color in fat layers. You can spot the difference between a good and a spoiled one if you examine it carefully in a well-lit area.

How To Tell If Bacon Is Bad
Photo: flickr

One of the most visible indicators of rotten food is discoloration. When you notice brown, gray, or green spots or mold on your food, it has become a dead giveaway. You should discard it instead of trying to eat it!


Like other foodstuff and meat, bacon can undergo texture transformations when spoils. If it is fresh, it should be soft and moist when touching.

However, if it becomes sticky and slimy, it gets worse and can’t be edible. It is an evident signal of bacteria called lactic acid.

After discarding bad food, make sure to wash and sterilize your hands to avoid cross-contamination with other fresh items.

What Happens If You Eat Bad Bacon?

Bad meat, including rotten bacon, will contain bacteria like Salmonella, Staphylococcus, Bacillus, or Clostridium.

Bacteria developing on rancid food causes it to become sour. What happens if you consume rotten pieces by mistake? Food poisoning is a common ailment.

Vomiting and nausea are two common food poisoning symptoms. Fever, abdominal pain, body aches, and headaches are possible side effects. Many cases can recover independently without intensive treatment if only mild poisoning.

However, serious symptoms and problems such as blood vomiting, severe dehydration, severe stomach pain, a high fever, and significant sleepiness might occur in some situations.

If such an emergency occurs, you should seek medical advice immediately.

How Long Can Cooked Bacon Sit Out?

Almost all foodstuff can only be left out at room temp for a specific amount of time before it spoils. The speed with which food spoils is determined by several elements, including the food, the temperature, and the moisture.

Bacon that has been cooked can be left out at room temperature for a specific amount of time. According to USDA guidelines, food cooked at 40 degrees can only be edible for around two hours.

Bacteria will begin to develop and spread once this period has passed. As shared earlier, consuming bacteria-contaminated food can cause food poisoning.

To avoid unpleasant scenarios, adhere to the normal standards for cooked bacon. The leftovers should be refrigerated rather than left out at room temperature after a meal.

Furthermore, putting the food outside will modify the texture of the dish. It will lose its freshness and turn chewy. It would be best to only cook enough portions for your family per meal.

How to Properly Store Bacon

As you can see, the shelf life of bacon is relatively short. It will easily go bad if you don’t store it properly. To avoid throwing this delicious food, here are some useful tips you should apply to prolong their lifespan.

Store Uncooked Bacon

If you have an uncooked pack, follow these tips to make it fresh longer:

Before purchasing the food, inspect it. To ensure that you’re obtaining the latest food, always examine the sell-by expiry.

Use paper towels to wrap it before putting it away. These towels will absorb the moisture produced during respiration.

Put it into the fridge or freezer. It can last about one or two weeks in the fridge and around six or eight months when frozen if it’s an unopened pack.

On the other hand, an opened or uncooked one will be good for about one week when put in the fridge and approximately six months when placed in the freezer.

Do you want to expand its lifespan? You can use resealable plastic bags to store it. Otherwise, using plastic wrap or aluminum foil to wrap it tightly is a great solution.

Remember to check your food regularly. If you notice any rotten signs, throw them away immediately to prevent bacteria from spreading over fresh food.

Store Cooked Bacon

You can also store cooked bacon in the refrigerator or freezer. If you keep it properly, it can be edible within four or five days if stored in the fridge and around three months if put in the freezer.

Before storing it, remember to use paper towels to blot off leftover oil and fat from cooked pieces. After that, use a wire holder to keep it cool.

Medium airtight containers and ziplock bags are ideal for storing bacon strips. To avoid a void in the package and limit exposure to air, wrap the food in cling film.

How Long Does Bacon Last In The Fridge?

Before answering this question, keep in mind that food quality is dependent on appropriate storage. To put it another way, if you don’t care about your food properly from the start, it will spoil in a flash.

To increase its shelf life, this dish should be immediately chilled and stored at a steady temperature of 40ºF or even below, either cooked or uncooked.

How long this dish can survive in the fridge relies on several factors, the most important of which is the storage environment.

For instance, an unopened pack can be good for up to two weeks after the sell-by date if you put it right away in the fridge at 40ºF after purchasing from the store.

Once opened, it can be in good condition in the fridge about seven to ten days before the sell-by date. Cooked bacon can also be good for about ten days when stored in the fridge.

How To Tell If Bacon Is Bad
Photo: Pixabay

In A Nutshell

This article has ultimately got to the end of the commonly asked question: How to tell if bacon is bad? All in all, it’s quite easy to realize spoiled bits.

You can notice its rotten signs by checking the expiry date, smelling, touching, or looking. If your food becomes sticky or has green or blue spots, you should discard it immediately!