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How To Tell If Bacon Is Bad

Bacon is one of those foods that people either love or hate. I am firmly in the “love” category – bacon makes everything better!

But even though bacon is delicious, it doesn’t last forever. So how can you tell if your bacon has gone bad? Color, smell, and texture are the three most effective ways to know if your bacon is bad.

Raw Bacon on parchment paper on a rustic counter.

What are the signs of bad bacon?

1. Check the expiration date

First and foremost you want to check the expiration date on the package to make sure that your bacon is still fresh.

Some packages have a best-if-used-by date which means that most of the time it is still fine to eat within a few days of the date as long as the color, smell, and texture are ok.

2. Grey or brown discoloration

Grey or brown discoloration in bacon is a sign that the bacon has gone rancid and should be discarded.

Discoloration can occur when the fat in the bacon starts to turn grey or brown, or even greenish in some cases.

It is also possible for small areas of mold to appear on the meat, which can be white, black, or green in color.

If your bacon looks dull under good lighting conditions it may be time to throw it out since it may have spoiled.

3. Smell

The signs of a bad bacon smell include:

– A rancid, unpleasant odor that is strong and difficult to ignore.

– A strong ammonia or “fishy” smell.

– A foul, sour smell similar to rotten eggs or moldy cheese.

These smells can be caused when an excessive amount of carbon dioxide is emitted from the meat when it is opened or cooked (this can be detected by placing it in a sealed container).

4. Texture Changes

Feeling slimy or wet to the touch are signs of bad bacon texture changes. You may also notice a loss of firmness, and the bacon becomes softer and mushier than usual.

If you notice these things then you should throw your bacon out and not consume it.

To know the best way how to reheat bacon check out my post!

Why is it important to know if your bacon is bad?

There are many reasons why it is important to know if bacon is bad before your cook, or eat it. For one, bad bacon might not taste as good as fresh bacon, which could ruin your meal.

More importantly, bacterial growth and rancidity can make bacon unsafe to eat, causing it to become dangerous or smell bad.

Eating bad bacon puts you at risk of food poisoning from a variety of bacteria, including E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Toxoplasmosis gondii, Campylobacter, and Yersinia.

Trichinosis is also a high risk with undercooked pork products. Eating contaminated food can result in vomiting, diarrhea, and other unpleasant symptoms that could ruin your meal if they affect your appetite or if stomach aches persist after eating.

It is important to throw away bad bacon and buy new packages because it can be dangerous to eat.

Making bacon and eggs? It is also important to know how to tell in an egg had gone bad!

What happens if you eat bad bacon?

When bacon is not stored or cooked properly, it can become contaminated with bacteria such as Salmonella, Bacillus, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus, and Clostridium.

If you eat spoiled bacon, you are at risk of developing food poisoning symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, headache, and body aches. These symptoms may be accompanied by severe complications like severe abdominal pain or vomiting blood if left untreated.

By following these three simple steps; Smelling it, feeling it, and looking at the color of your bacon, you can ensure that your bacon is fresh and safe to eat.

If you have any doubts, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and throw it out. No one wants to get sick from eating bad bacon!

You should also learn how to tell pork is bad with all varieties as well as how to tell if meats have gone bad.

How can you tell if the bacon package has been sealed properly?

To check if the package has been sealed properly, look for any signs of damage such as tears or gaps around its edges that could allow bacteria to enter and cause spoilage quickly since they thrive in warm environments like refrigerators and pantries.

If there are no visible signs of damage then you can rest assured that it has been properly sealed since manufacturers typically use airtight methods like plastic wraps or aluminum foil seals to ensure freshness over longer periods of time before expiry dates are reached.

How to properly store bacon

Store bacon in airtight containers or wrap it with thin aluminum foil or plastic wrap to ensure the quality and safety of the bacon.

Bacon is a type of meat that is cured by smoking or using a process of curing, which preserves the meat by inhibiting the growth of bacteria.

Bacon needs to be stored in a cool, dry place. It is best to store it in a container with a tight-fitting lid.

Cooked bacon will last in the fridge for up to a week. Uncooked bacon will last for 1-2 weeks in the fridge if properly stored. To extend the shelf life of bacon, freeze it for up to 2-3 months.

Frequently asked questions about how to tell is bacon is bad

If bacon turns brown it is most likely due to a lack of oxygen. Oxygen is used to create the Maillard reaction which is responsible for the flavor and color of bacon.
Without enough oxygen, the proteins in the bacon will start to break down which will cause it to turn brown.

Bacon will last in the refrigerator for about three to four days. Make sure to store bacon in an airtight container so that it will not spoil.

Yes, you can freeze bacon. It can be safely frozen at 0 °F (−18 °C) indefinitely, though it will start deteriorating in quality after about 4 months.
To maximize its shelf life and make thawing easier, it is recommended that you slice or roll up the bacon before freezing it, and store it in an airtight bag or container.


Identifying spoiled bacon is a vital practice to maintain your health and enjoy your meals. Always check for changes in color, an off smell, and an unusual texture. If there’s any doubt about the bacon’s freshness, err on the side of caution and discard it. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to food safety.

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