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View Full Version : How long does bacon stay good?


erleichda
11-01-2009, 08:47 PM
Since the 'dope is full of bacon experts, I thought I would ask! The bacon in question has been continuously refrigerated for the last two weeks, but the package is open. Would you eat it?

Superhal
11-01-2009, 08:57 PM
Imho, as a self-professed bacon expert with an 8th degree black belt in Bacon Fu, I go by color and smell.

Obviously, if it's green, grey, fuzzy, breathing, or moving, throw it out.

If it looks OK, smell it. Old bacon that is still good should have a relatively clean smell, and if it's starting to go bad, it has a definite "piggy" odor. I would, if you are still working on a yellow belt, leave a piece in there to see what that smell smells like.

Superfluous Parentheses
11-01-2009, 09:17 PM
In my experience, two weeks would be pushing it for sliced bacon, especially if it's not been in a sealed container (just put it in a tupperware box or something after you've opened the package). Unopened, it'll certainly last longer.

As Superhal said, just smell it if it doesn't look suspicious.

erleichda
11-01-2009, 09:31 PM
So what exactly are the risks of eating old bacon?

Smeghead
11-01-2009, 09:56 PM
Well, I'd cook it first...

Superfluous Parentheses
11-01-2009, 09:57 PM
So what exactly are the risks of eating old bacon?

I usually have smoked bacon. It's perfectly fine to eat uncooked.

Duckster
11-02-2009, 12:17 AM
So what exactly are the risks of eating old bacon?

You develop swine flu.

Alex_Dubinsky
11-02-2009, 01:18 AM
I usually have smoked bacon. It's perfectly fine to eat uncooked.
Yeah, uncooked you don't want to push it, but if you fry the crap out of it there's really not much it can do to you.

Superhal
11-02-2009, 01:29 AM
I have a mold allergy, so I can't eat it once it starts changing color, but theoretically, the bacon should be safe to eat if cooked properly.

Epimetheus
11-02-2009, 01:44 AM
With all of the salt most bacon is treated with, I'd guess quite some time. I've had some in the fridge for several (3-4) weeks before I cooked it, but it was sealed so dunno.

ivn1188
11-02-2009, 01:55 AM
It's fine, as long as it's not moldy or slimy and doesn't smell rotten.

Colophon
11-02-2009, 03:15 AM
I usually find the problem with bacon that's been left in an open package is that it dries out around the edges and goes hard. When that happens I just snip off the dried-out part with kitchen scissors.

Rhythmdvl
11-02-2009, 03:40 AM
Get someone else to smell it.

Smeghead
11-02-2009, 06:09 AM
With all of the salt most bacon is treated with, I'd guess quite some time. I've had some in the fridge for several (3-4) weeks before I cooked it, but it was sealed so dunno.

Keep in mind that bacon was first developed as a method of preserving food without refrigeration.

Rhythmdvl
11-02-2009, 06:43 AM
Keep in mind that bacon was first developed as a method of preserving food without refrigeration.

That would have been shortly after "Let there be light" and just before a few less important bits.



Does modern, processed bacon (the run-of-the-mill supermarket package) resemble smoked or salted bacon? What's in it? I don't eat much of the Oscar Wilde kind, but it doesn't really compare to the bacon that comes from a good butcher -- I always assumed the flavors were more food science than food. Do they act to preserve it too?

monavis
11-02-2009, 07:06 AM
I agree with the other dopers,( having lived in an age without refridgeration). Now I freeze bacon I know I am not going to use far awhile,If you are the only person eating it, freeze it in serving sizes. I defrost it in the Microwave but a couple of slices if frozen separated flat will defrost in a few minuets on their own.

Philster
11-02-2009, 09:16 AM
Imho, as a self-professed bacon expert with an 8th degree black belt in Bacon Fu, I go by color and smell.

Obviously, if it's green, grey, fuzzy, breathing, or moving, throw it out.

If it looks OK, smell it. Old bacon that is still good should have a relatively clean smell, and if it's starting to go bad, it has a definite "piggy" odor. I would, if you are still working on a yellow belt, leave a piece in there to see what that smell smells like.

Emphasis added.

But... IT'S BACON!!! :eek:

twickster
11-02-2009, 09:43 AM
....I don't eat much of the Oscar Wilde kind,...

An epigram with every BLT!

Chefguy
11-02-2009, 10:39 AM
That would have been shortly after "Let there be light" and just before a few less important bits.



Does modern, processed bacon (the run-of-the-mill supermarket package) resemble smoked or salted bacon? What's in it? I don't eat much of the Oscar Wilde kind, but it doesn't really compare to the bacon that comes from a good butcher -- I always assumed the flavors were more food science than food. Do they act to preserve it too?

Bacon is cured in a brine with a lot of salt and a small amount of nitrite. It's then dried for an extended period. Some bacon is smoked.

kjckjc
11-02-2009, 01:42 PM
"How long does bacon stay good?"


Always my friend, bacon is always good.

troub
11-02-2009, 01:54 PM
It depends...the bacon from the vacuum packages in the supermarket stays good in the fridge for quite a while after opening (I think I've done a couple weeks before with no problem). Fresh sliced bacon in butcher paper from an actual butcher, unfortunately and much to my lament, is only good for a few days in my experience. It was very tasty, but since it was uncured/unsalted/whatever is it technically "bacon," or just sliced pork belly/back/wherever it came from?

Basically, all the previous advice in the thread -- if it's fuzzy, weird colors, etc. That said I did eat some...I'd call it "grayish"...bacon that had been in the fridge for a while. I cooked it thoroughly and enjoyed it just fine, and even gave some to my wife. She did get swine flu later*, but that's what I call a hilarious coincidence.

*seriously, no joke

Alan Smithee
11-02-2009, 03:09 PM
"How long does bacon stay good?"


Always my friend, bacon is always good.Correct. Bacon is Platonically good and as such imperishable. Your failure to eat bacon causes moral and metaphysical corruption of the universe affecting the physical space surrounding the bacon. The illness (and possible death) occasioned by eating such bacon is merely your karmic punishment for allowing bacon to languish under your care. Spiritually speaking, your bacon is still good; it is you who have become rotten and slimy. (Well, and your fridge, too, if you don't clean it up.!)

running coach
11-02-2009, 03:22 PM
Just checked the package in the fridge(unopened).

Says "Use/freeze by 1/23/10"

aquachigger
11-02-2009, 03:44 PM
I just went through the bad bacon dilemma. It looked and smelled okay but after cooking it tasted terrible. It was sour and had that disgusting taste you get with freezer burned meats. Ate most of it anyway with no ill effects...

barbitu8
11-02-2009, 04:29 PM
I just went through the bad bacon dilemma. It looked and smelled okay but after cooking it tasted terrible. It was sour and had that disgusting taste you get with freezer burned meats. Ate most of it anyway with no ill effects...

Let us know how you feel tomorrow, if you are still alive. :)

Si Amigo
11-02-2009, 04:41 PM
When in doubt just go for the Boss Hog Bacon-Bits (http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.cvwine.com/images/bacon_bits_dish.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.cvwine.com/shop/baconbits.html&usg=__QwS_89_pcEPJ-VwWLItwvmAcR-g=&h=909&w=939&sz=513&hl=en&start=22&um=1&tbnid=YMQkAU8jm3GRlM:&tbnh=143&tbnw=148&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dbacon%2Bbits%26ndsp%3D20%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26start%3D20%26um%3D1). That stuff never expires as long as you refrigirate it, been using it as a bacon substitute since the late ninties! :eek:

ivn1188
11-02-2009, 05:15 PM
Fresh sliced bacon in butcher paper from an actual butcher, unfortunately and much to my lament, is only good for a few days in my experience.

If it's not brined and possibly smoked, it's not bacon, it's just sliced pork belly, and is raw meat. (Unless you are one of those UK fruits who eat back bacon. Enjoy your ham.)

If it is actually bacon, it has been brined, and can air dry for days or weeks, no problem. If it started going bad only a few days after you brought it home, it was either poorly prepared or not as fresh as the butcher might have led you to believe. It is, after all, chock full of preservatives.

unclelem
11-02-2009, 10:16 PM
In my experience, real bacon came in large chunks that we kept unrefridgerated in burlap sacks - the better to hang from a tree limb at night.

No plastic was involved. Grey and green furry bits were cut off and discarded, though some of the old timers referred to them as "flavor".

As to how long it would last, it's hard to say. Like Mr. Owl answering the question about how many licks it takes to get to the center of a certain brand of lollypop - the world may never know.

It would certainly last two weeks. But longer than that and it would all be eaten. Then we'd have to head back to base camp to get more.

t-bonham@scc.net
11-02-2009, 11:24 PM
You develop swine flu.This is not accurate.

Swine flu is a form of influenza (H1N1 strain) and is spread like other influenzas; physical contact with droplets on a person or in the air. You do NOT get it from eating pork products. Nearly anyone with any intelligence knows that by now.


And if you thought you were making a joke, well:
- it wasn't funny.
- GQ is not the place for it.

sunacres
11-03-2009, 01:09 AM
On yesterday's Adam Corolla podcast he recounted a story in which his pal Jimmy Kimmel took a slice of Canadian bacon out of an Egg McMuffin and pinned it to the wall of his radio station, saying "I'll eat that in one year." and did exactly that one year later.