How Long Does Bacon Last Shelf Life Chart Signs of Expired Bacon


How Long Does Bacon Last?

Bacon can spoil if not stored properly. Discard it if it has passed the expiration date.

Factors like type, storage method, and whether it has been opened or cooked affect bacon’s shelf life. Most varieties have a sell-by date printed on the package.

Note that this date does not always indicate how long bacon can be used without risk. It may simply mean the date till which bacon can be kept on the shelves for sale.

Common Bacon Timelines

  • Unopened bacon:
  • Refrigerate for up to two weeks and freeze for eight months
  • Lasts about a week in the refrigerator and up to six months in the freezer
  • Shorter shelf life—about four to five days in the refrigerator and up to one month in the freezer
  • Refrigerate for six months or freeze for nine months

Timelines Depending on Storage

  • Bacon kept in a fridge:
  • If unopened and refrigerated, raw bacon lasts approximately two weeks.
  • Once opened, raw bacon remains fresh for about a week.
  • Cooked bacon usually lasts for five days in the fridge.
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  • If stored in a freezer, raw bacon lasts about six months, and cooked bacon can be frozen for nine months.
  • Bacon Shelf Life Chart

    Table 1. Bacon shelf life.

    Type of bacon
    Average time that bacon lasts
    Uncooked and unopened bacon Fridge Two to four weeks
    Uncooked but opened bacon Fridge One week
    Uncooked and unopened bacon Freezer Six to eight months
    Cooked bacon Fridge Five days
    Cooked bacon Freezer Two months

    Can Bacon Cause Food Poisoning?

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture states that food prepared at 40 degrees can only be kept for a short period—about two hours. Bacteria can grow after this period, potentially causing food poisoning.

    Avoid unfavorable circumstances by following standard guidelines for cooked bacon. Store leftovers in the refrigerator, as leaving bacon outside at room temperature alters its texture and freshness.

    Handling and Cooking Bacon

    Handle and cook bacon carefully to prevent contamination and foodborne illnesses.

    Handling Bacon

    • Bacteria may be present when handling raw bacon, so clean surfaces with a soapy cloth and wash hands well with soap and water.
    • Rinsing raw bacon prior to cooking is unnecessary. Cooking will destroy any bacteria present.

    Cooking Bacon

    • Eating raw or undercooked meat can cause stomach problems.
    • Microwave-cooked bacon is more thoroughly cooked than fried bacon, according to a recent study.
    • Bacon cooked on a stovetop releases potentially harmful chemical compounds. To ensure thorough cooking, cook bacon at 275°F for 30 minutes (medium well).

    How to Tell If Bacon Is Spoiled

    Check the expiration date on unopened bacon packages. However, it becomes irrelevant if the sealed package is damaged or not stored properly.

    • Check for signs of spoilage such as bad smell, discoloration, or slimy texture.
    • Bacon can go bad when kept at room temperature or in the refrigerator for too long. Dryness, slimy appearance, foul odor, or dark color are indicators of spoilage.
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    Signs of Bad Bacon:

    1. Dryness
    2. Sour smell
    3. Dark brownish-red color
    4. Rotten egg smell

    How to Tell If Cooked Bacon Is Spoiled

    Spoiled cooked bacon has a bad smell, unusual coloration, or slimy texture.

    How to Tell If Uncooked Bacon Is Spoiled

    • Raw bacon should be sticky but not slimy.
    • Excessive moisture or a foul smell indicates spoilage.
    • Spoiled uncooked bacon may turn blue, green, or grey-brown.

    Best Ways to Store Bacon

    Store bacon in the fridge or freezer to prevent bacterial growth.

    • Airtight container: Seal opened bacon in a container to restrict airflow and prevent bacterial growth.
    • Plastic wrap, wax paper, or aluminum foil can also be used to reduce airflow and stop bacterial growth. Refrigerate some bacon and freeze the rest.
    • Store bacon in the refrigerator or freezer as soon as you get home. Divide cooked bacon into small portions for freezing, wrapping them in paper towels and aluminum foil or plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn.


    Bacon’s popularity has surged in recent years due to its deliciousness. Store bacon in the fridge or freezer to maintain freshness. If the package has been opened, reseal it tightly. Keep the temperature consistently below 40°F. In the freezer, bacon remains fresh for up to six months, but it’s best to consume within a month for optimal flavor.

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