How Long Will Bacon Last: A Primer For Meat-Lovers

Who doesn’t want a serving of tasty and fat-rich bacon on their plate, do you like bacon? It’s a popular food for many meat-lovers and has become one of the world’s favorite foods, as a typical breakfast for many. 

But how much do you know about this popular food? 

Before we go into the FAQs about bacon, let’s look at this tasty, meat-rich food most of us love to have on a regular basis.

In this article, you’ll get some basic information about this food. You’ll also read what makes up bacon. 

We will also try to answer the question of whether it has any good health benefits and discuss some concerns about this food.

We list many of the possible questions you may have about this topic, such as bacon’s shelf life when cooked, uncooked or pre-cooked. These articles are like a primer of sorts for bacon-lovers.

The topics you can read here are:

  • What Is Bacon Made Of
  • The Different Types of Bacon
  • Which Cuts of Meat are Used to make Bacon
  • Is Bacon Good or Bad For The Health
  • Who Can’t Eat It
  • How Much Is Moderate Consumption
  • How Long Will Bacon Last After Opening
  • How Long Will It Last At Room Temperature
  • How Long Will Bacon keep While Refrigerated
  • How Long Will Bacon keep Unrefrigerated
  • How Long Will Bacon Last Once Cooked
  • How To Prepare Bacon For Cooking
  • How To Know Good Quality Bacon
  • Reminders for When Buying Bacon
  • How To Know When Bacon is Spoilt 

What Is A Bacon Made Of?

Real bacon comes from pork, the meat of the pig meat. It is usually a processed food like the type of bacon we usually purchase for our grocery store or local meat shop is processed or cured using preservatives. Although it is usual to make bacon from pork many other types of animal meat can be used.

The common preservatives used for bacon preparation are as follows:

Sodium Nitrate – salt usually used to prolong meat lifeBHT or Butylated Hydroxytoluene – used to preserve the flavor and prevent it from having an odourBHA or Butylated Hydroxyanisole – used to preserve the flavor of the meat and stop any bad odors from developing.

Different Types of Bacon

There are many kinds of bacon available beside the common type most people know. Once you are familiar with these, you can read about how long bacon will keep in good condition, in the second half of this article.

TYPES OF BACON CUTS TO USE IN YOUR FOOD PREPARATION

  • Pre-cooked bacon – this means it’s already cooked and only needs a little more cooking before serving.
  • Streaked bacon – one of the most recognizable types of bacon that is normally available from grocery stores or the local market. It is usually cut into slim slices.
  • Center Cut Bacon – a prime cut of bacon
  • Uncured bacon– it does not contain additives like nitrite and needs to be cooked
  • Organic bacon – the animal it came from as raised organicallyNote: There are actually many other kinds of bacon, some are discussed below. (See Other Variations of Bacon)

A BACON CAN BE CURED OR PROCESSED IN DIFFERENT WAYS:

  • Wet curing – the meat is soaked in or has brine injected into it
  • Dry curing – this process uses salt as a preservative while it hangs in a dry place

OTHER TYPES OF MEAT COMMONLY USE TO MAKE BACON

  • Pork Bacon
  • Beef Bacon
  • Chicken Bacon
  • Goat Bacon
  • Turkey Bacon
  • Lamb
  • Veggie Bacon Note: Made of vegetables and perfect for vegans or vegetarians

Which Cut of Pork Does Bacon Usually Come From?

It’s usually made from the shoulder or belly, but can also come from other parts of the pig, ham is the same as bacon except it comes from the upper leg or “Ham”.

The Many Uses For Bacon

You can use bacon in the following ways :

  • As a topper for salads or pizza
  • As main (main course) dish or side dish
  • Baked dishes often include bacon in its ingredients
  • As an appetizer
  • As a soup ingredient
  • As well as a range of other common uses

The Different Tastes of Bacon

It can come as salty, sweet, saucy, succulent,  flavorful and smoky. Honey cured and smoked are the tastes usually associated with bacon.

Is Bacon Good or Bad for The Health?

The nutritional benefits of eating bacon, is good or bad for our health? These are some of the things you will consume while eating bacon.

THE GOOD STUFF YOU CAN GET FROM EATING BACON: 

  • Protein
  • Omega fatty acids

THE NOT-SO-GOOD STUFF YOU CAN GET FROM EATING BACON:

  • Saturated Fat
  • Cholesterol
  • Sodium

According to an article, each 20 gram of bacon can contain as much as 5.4 grams of fat.

Who Can’t Eat It

Eating bacon can have health repercussions for some individuals if they eat too much of it. The preservatives it contains can cause certain diseases such as cancer according to some studies. It’s also rich in cholesterol and saturated fat, both of which can trigger high blood pressure in some people. It is thought that the high cholesterol levels in bacon may contribute to an increased risk of heart ailments. If you have high blood or a heart condition you should not eat bacon, if you do, it should be in moderation because of the saturated fat it contains

How Much Serving Is Moderate Consumption?

Check with your nutritionist to find how much bacon you can eat. Generally, a standard slice or strip of bacon contains 4 grams of fat. So the fat content of bacon is usually between 1/4th to 1/5th of its weight. If you are on a diet or measuring your food intake then you can do the math to determine the right sized bacon serving for you.

How Long Will Bacon Last After Opening?

Storage conditions affect the shelf life of ANY food, not only bacon. Generally, once you have purchased your bacon it should be kept frozen in a suitable food-safe container until you’re ready to use it.

According to eatbydate.com, in an article entitled, “How Long Does Bacon Last”, an opened bacon can last for “1 week” in the refrigerator and up to”6 monthswhen placed in the freezer.

How Long Will Bacon Last At Room Temperature?

Whether cooked or not, all meat tends to spoil if left out at room temperature for a long time. 

Keeping your bacon at room temperature can actually invite the growth of bacteria, especially when it’s not properly covered or placed in a secure container or covered tray.

Whether cooked or raw, bacon must not be left on your table, kitchen bench or anywhere to avoid it going rotten or spoiled. This is the safest tip you can go by. STORE ALL FOODS IN THE REFRIGERATOR OR FREEZER IF IT’S NOT TO BE COOKED STRAIGHT AWAY.

How Long Will Bacon Last While Inside The Fridge?

If it’s in the fridge, an unopened packet of bacon will last about a week or more. If you have an opened packet of bacon it is best kept in the freezer for up to six months. When handling bacon make sure that you do not cross contaminate it with other foods or expose it to other substances. 

Hen cooked bacon should be used within 5 days if kept refrigerated and about two weeks if frozen if it kept in a suitable airtight food safe container.

How Long Will It Last Outside Of The Fridge?

It is a good idea to keep all food containing bacon refrigerated wherever possible and bring it out when it’s time to prepare it for cooking. One cooked bacon should be consumed within two hours, otherwise, place it inside the refrigerator right away.

How Long Will Bacon Last After Cooking?

Don’t leave cooked food on the table unless you’re ready to eat. Once cooked bacon should be consumed within two hours. Always use your senses to observe the food or to look for any changes before serving it to guests, if in doubt do not serve it.

How To Prepare Bacon For Cooking 

  1. Thaw the bacon after removing from the freezer. This may take a few minutes
  2. Prepare all the necessary ingredients and kitchen utensils such as your pan, cooking oil, etc.
  3. Place a small amount of cooking oil into the pan. Note: Don’t use too much as bacon has a high-fat content already.
  4. Heat the frying pan. Then place the bacon in the pan to cook (the streaked kind is the most popular) and fry until golden brown.
  5. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with food napkin or parchment paper for baking.
  6. Allow the excess oil to drip or dry out. This will make the bacon crispy and not soggy because of the oil.
  7. Serve your bacon freshly-cooked to get the best result of quality and flavor.

Reminders When Buying Bacon

  • Buy only from reputable stores, grocery or meat shops.
  • Check the bacon’s quality carefully, don’t rely on the packaging.
  • Scrutinize the meat carefully when buying from a meat shop. Make sure the meat is tender, odourless and not pale.
  • Don’t forget to put the bacon in the refrigerator as soon as you get home.

How To Know A Spoiled Bacon 

It doesn’t take much to know when bacon is no longer fit for consumption. These are the points to look for:

  • It has a distinctive, repulsive odour. Compare the smell to when you bought it fresh from the store and before cooking. Spoiled foods generally emit an unpleasant odor
  • The meat has turned dark or another color other than its typical pinkish meat color. The white part of the bacon or fat should remain white
  • It doesn’t taste fresh or has a different taste than what you expected 

When cooked bacon no longer tastes delicious, then the quality is gone and it is most likely no longer fit for eating.

AlWAYS, CHECK THE EXPIRY DATE ON THE PACKET BEFORE YOU BUY IT AND BEFORE YOU USE IT IF REFRIGERATED. THIS IS THE BEST WAY TO ENSURE IT IS STILL USABLE, BUT ALSO CHECK THE SMELL, TASTE AND APPEARANCE.

Conclusion 

Bacon has become part of the food culture of many countries. Its popularity comes from its flavorful taste, which can be a salty, sweet, succulent or smoky flavor.

It’s often thought of as a breakfast staple, but bacon fans have developed many interesting and delicious ways to use it -not only at breakfast time.

It can be served for snacks or at dinner. It can be a topper, crushed or sprinkled over or on many dishes. You can even use it in your baked dishes or to make interesting appetizers.

Despite some of the health concerns regarding consuming bacon, it remains a popular food choice. 

There are now a variety of bacon alternatives from which one can take a pick from if you have a concern with eating pork, this includes vegetarian and vegan bacon to cater for those who are not fans of eating meat.

To ensure bacon has a longer shelf life, safety standards in food preparation and storage must be observed to preserve its quality. 

We hope that our article has given you some valuable information about bacon.

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