How to Tell if Cooked Bacon is Bad?

You might be curious how to tell if cooked bacon is bad. After all, bacon is supposed to be bright pink. Because bacon is made up of white fat and pink flesh, this is the case. It does, however, occasionally turn yellowish or green. There are a few symptoms that your bacon has gone wrong: it will change color, get slimy, and lose its springiness.

You can also feel the bacon to see whether it’s rotten. Bacon that has gone rotten will feel slimy and sticky. Regarding hue, look for fat streaks that are pink or red in tone. It’s most undoubtedly awful if it’s white and dirty. Furthermore, the bacon should be juicy and tender when touched. It’s certainly rotten if it smells nasty or fishy. Finally, terrible bacon should have a decaying flesh odor.

cooked bacon

If bacon is not stored properly, bacteria can ruin it. Bacteria and fungi love bacon, which is why it smells bad. Additionally, bacteria are to blame for the meat’s color change. A foul odor is produced when germs are exposed to the air. This hue will become darker with time. If this happens, throw the bacon in the trash and find something else to do.

What is Bacon?

The most prevalent type of bacon in the United States is sided pork, sliced from the pig’s side. Back bacon (Irish bacon, rasher, or Canadian bacon) is made from the pig’s loin, located in the center of the back. The texture of the back bacon is more ham-like. It’s exceptionally fatty, with lengthy fat layers running parallel to the rind.

Before you prepare it at home, the meat is cured (soaked in salt, nitrates, and occasionally sugar) and frequently smoked. The fat in the bacon gives the majority of the taste and allows it to fry crispy while remaining soft. Good bacon requires a high fat-to-meat ratio—usually one-half to two-thirds fat to meat. Because bacon must be cooked before eating, much of the fat is rendered off and can be poured off if necessary.

Cooking bacon at high heat for long periods is not recommended. The nitrite-curing agents can be converted to nitrosamine at high temperatures, and the nitrosamine content of bacon cooked in the microwave is lower. Nitrates are used not just to preserve color but also to prevent fat from becoming rancid and to fight botulism bacteria.

Nitrites have been the topic of some animal trials as a potential cancer-causing agent, although the results are still equivocal. However, nitrate-free bacon is available on the market. Furthermore, food manufacturers have added vitamin C to the bacon curing process, reducing nitrosamine concentration.

How to Tell if Cooked Bacon is Bad?

Here are some most accessible signs to tell if cooked bacon is gone bad:

1. Off Smell

If you smell your bacon and get a whiff of something foul and off-putting, it’s most likely gone rotten. Bacon that hasn’t gone rotten will smell fresh and meaty when cooked. Throw it away if it smells sour, rancid, or rotting.

2. Unpleasant Texture

Try feeling if you suspect your cooked bacon has gone wrong but can’t tell by smelling it or looking at it. The textural difference between fresh and rotten bacon is rather evident, and it will have a slimy, gooey, or sticky texture on the outside if it has gone wrong. If this is the case, throw it away immediately and thoroughly wash your hands and any surfaces that come into contact with the rotting meat.

3. Mold

Mold is the last and, by far, the most visible sign of rotten bacon. If your cooked bacon has any green particles, it’s gone wrong and has mold or organic growth, which is exceptionally harmful to eat. Could you get rid of it right away?

How Long Does Bacon Last?

Like any other meat, Bacon has a finite shelf life before it spoils. The length of time your bacon lasts is determined by the sort of bacon you purchased and whether it was cooked.

  • Cooked Bacon: Cooked bacon will keep in the refrigerator for about a week to ten days. Alternatively, it can be frozen for up to 6 months.
  • Uncooked Bacon: Uncooked and opened bacon, also known as raw or fresh bacon, can be kept in the refrigerator for a week or frozen for six months, while unopened and uncooked bacon can be held in the fridge for one to two weeks and frozen for six to eight months.

cooked bacon

Why do you Need to Keep Bacon in your Fridge or Freezer?

If you keep your cooked bacon for longer than two hours, keep it refrigerated. Bacteria can rapidly emerge and multiply in room-temperature bacon, and bacteria have been known to develop and spread in temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Bacon is salty because it was cured with salt before reaching your hands.

Although the method is very similar, bacon is not the same as regular salt pork. Bacon’s moisture evaporates after cooking, making it difficult for germs to survive in a low-water environment. Furthermore, nitrites must be added to the meat to extend its shelf life.

As a result, your bacon will survive longer than most meats. Don’t be fooled that the quality is retained at room temperature. The preservatives do not help to keep the exterior temperature stable. They help to extend the life of the products. Almost all businesses prioritize quantity over consumer happiness.

They opt for wet-curing procedures to reduce time, which may or may not be standardized. When bacon is left at room temperature for an extended period, its fat spoils and becomes rancid. Rather than relying solely on preservatives, trying to protect yourself first by putting bacon in the refrigerator to slow the awful process would be best.

Methods for Storing Your Cooked Bacon

Bacon is a favorite American meal due to its delectable flavor and appealing appearance. That’s why so many people ask for advice on storing bacon to retain its vibrant appearance and tasty bite. So now, let us take you on a tour of how you can preserve bacon.

In the Fridge

Cooked bacon can be kept in the fridge for a more extended period. This strategy is practical and straightforward to implement, and you should save it and use it on your food at home.

Follow these steps to store your bacon properly:

  • Don’t forget to cool down the bacon before placing it into the container. You can use a plastic or glass box with a lid to keep your bacon and ensure that the top covers the container tightly. Or you can use a sealed or zip lock bag to store individual portions, which can help minimize the airflow going into the bag when you take the bacon out.
  • Place the bacon in the airtight container or wrap it in aluminum foil or plastic. It helps store bacon for longer and keeps the bacon fresh and crunchy.
  • Label the storage box with sticky notes. Please note when the storage began and when it is expected to end. This aids in remembering the reserved date so that it does not spoil before use.
  • Put the container of bacon in the fridge at an easily seen place because the due date of bacon is short, so try to use it soon.
  • Regular checks help you find out whether your bacon has gone wrong. Seeing the storing date also reminds you to use it as soon as possible.

Freezing Bacon

Cooked bacon may be stored in the freezer for up to 1 month. Freezing is the best method for storing bacon in the long term.

  • To quickly freeze bacon, put it out on a baking pan. This step will ensure that it does not cling together. Use a baking sheet to divide the layers if you have a large batch. It will take you approximately 2-3 hours.
  • Cooked bacon can be stored in freezer bags for a long time and then packed neatly in the freezer. Please place it in the freezer after labeling it. The recommended freezer temperature is 0° F (-18° C). Remove surplus air from the bags: less air means minor freezer burn. To avoid freezer burn, put 2-3 servings together and cover them in plastic wrap.


According to the National Pork Board, bacon is kept in 53 percent of American households. Bacon spoils quickly, so you’ll want to know the signs and how long it’ll last. The National Pork Board provides a free eBook that explains if cooked bacon is past its expiration date.

If you’re looking for a way to detect if your bacon has gone wrong, try using shelf-stable bacon. To keep bacon from drying out and stinking, wrap it once it’s been opened. Wrapping it in plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or freezer paper acts as a physical barrier to microorganisms, preserving the quality of the bacon.

Make sure to use a freezer bag. A reusable plastic food bag will suffice if you don’t have a freezer bag. To reduce the quantity of air within the plastic bag, try to smooth it out as much as possible. It is also brilliant to wrap it in plastic food bags to keep the air out.