How Long Is Bacon Good After Opening (And Why)?

Exact Answer: One Week

Generally used as a side dish during breakfast or as a minor ingredient in a recipe, bacon was always a favorite for most food lovers. Bacon is made from the pig’s belly or back, which after the removal of ribs, is cured, either dry or in a pickle, and smoked, and usually have a rich, salty taste to them.

Bacon is also nutritious for our body as it is rich in many nutrients, including protein and carbohydrates, along with a balanced amount of vitamins and minerals. Bacon is also available in different types, such as uncured bacon and cured bacon. Cured bacon can be further categorized into dry-cured and wet-cured, according to the process that they follow.

How Long Is Bacon Good After Opening?

Everyone loves bacon. Be it in breakfast, or creamy pasta, or a cupcake. Usually, the type of food and the season is considered to estimate the time before the food goes bad. In the case of bacon, the way of cooking should also be considered. People cook bacon based on how crispy they want it to be. Usually, bacon is eaten immediately after cooking. However, considering all kinds of situations, people might leave the bacon out after it is cooked. It is suggested to either refrigerate or eat the cooked bacon within two hours. 

As bacon is a type of meat, you surely cannot keep it outside the refrigerator for too long. Any meat should not be left outside the refrigerator for more than three to four hours. If left outside the refrigerator for more than four hours, the meat will no longer be edible, as bacteria will grow and spread over the meat faster than you think. It is important to note that most bacon belongs to the cured meat category of food. Uncooked bacon is preserved with salt and sodium nitrites. This is a method of curing bacon. And when cured bacon is cooked, moisture from the skin is removed.

Packet Of BaconTime To Keep In Refrigerator
UnopenedTwo Weeks
OpenedOne Week

Unopened packets of bacon can be preserved in the refrigerator for two weeks. In contrast, if the packet is opened, then it should be consumed within one week.

Why Is Bacon Good For That Long After Opening?

Some people also prefer to go for dry-cured bacon. The dry-cured bacon has got the advantage of lasting for a longer time, even when it’s cooked. As the dry-cured bacon prevents the growth of bacteria even when it’s cooked, it can probably last for a whole night as well. But it’s still not preferred to keep the bacon out, as there is a possibility of the bacon becoming chewy. The longer the bacon is outside the refrigerator, it will turn cold, and its texture will be changed as well.

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But once the types of bacon have exceeded the respective time limit, they start giving out a sour smell. Along with it, the color of the bacon also starts to change from red color to grey-brown color. If you notice these changes in your bacon, then that bacon has been spoiled, and consuming such bacon can lead to certain health risks, like food poisoning, etc. Being a type of meat, bacon cannot last for a more extended period outside the refrigerator. When the temperature is between 40°F and 140°F, bacteria start to grow and spread rapidly on the surface of the bacon. It doesn’t take much time for the bacon to smell and taste sour.

Bacon is suitable for that long after opening because there are specific methods to preserve the bacon. Also, the thermal conditions inside the refrigerator are ideal for bacon as bacteria don’t grow on it, and it doesn’t start to degrade. Therefore, it can even be consumed after one week of opening.

Conclusion

Overall, it can be concluded that to enjoy the best flavor of the bacon; you’ll have to look out for the bacon when it’s kept outside the refrigerator. When kept outside, it should be free from contamination due to bacteria. Yet, it will still be recommended to keep the bacon in the refrigerator or freezer to last for a more extended period.

On average, Bacon is good to use after opening for one week if kept in the refrigerator. If you want the bacon to last for a more extended period outside the refrigerator, then it’s preferred to use dry-cured sliced bacon. And you’ll have to consume it before it turns sour.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814604001943
  2. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf960973b
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