How to Know if Bacon Has Gone Bad

Fresh or usable bacon will not smell odd.
Fresh or usable bacon will not smell odd. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Digging out a package of bacon from the depths of your refrigerator can leave you wondering if it's fresh enough to eat. When determining if bacon has gone bad, you can look at the packaging, the appearance of the bacon and take note of the smell from the meat product. If any of these areas prove questionable, you should toss the bacon to avoid eating a spoiled product.

Examine the packaging for any punctures or tears. If there are any, the bacon could be spoiled or contaminated. Bacon should remain tightly wrapped for freshness. Look for a "use by" date on the packaging. If the date has already passed, throw the bacon away for safety.

Look at the color of the bacon. If it appears brown or green in color, discard it immediately. If you notice a white slimy film or milky fluid on the meat or in the package, bacteria is growing. Get rid of the bacon.

Sniff the meat. The normal smell may be strong when you first unwrap it due to trapped gasses escaping, but it will dissipate. If there is a strong, unpleasant odor that lingers, the bacon has gone bad and you should throw it away.

Tips & Warnings

  • The American Dietetic Association recommends that consumers look for the "safe food handling" label on bacon products to confirm that the product has been handled safely and learn tips about handling and cooking the meat safely.
  • Store bacon in your refrigerator's bin for best results.
  • Freeze or consume open packages of bacon within four days.

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