Can I Eat Bacon Three Days Past its Use By Date?

You wake up ready for a tasty BLT for lunch, only to discover the bacon in your fridge is 3 days past its use by date Should you risk it or play it safe and toss it out? Eating food past its prime can be dicey, but with bacon, a few days may not spell certain doom if stored properly Read on to learn more about bacon’s shelf life, signs of spoilage, and how to determine if your bacon is still safe to sizzle.

Understanding the Use By Date

The use by date printed on packaged bacon indicates the last day it should be eaten for best quality. It doesn’t necessarily mean the bacon is unsafe beyond that date, but the flavor and texture decline over time. Unopened, the use by date is a good benchmark. But once opened, it’s ideal to cook or freeze bacon within 7 days.

After opening elements like oxygen light, and moisture shorten shelf life rapidly. Freezing unused portions in an airtight container is best for long-term storage. For fridge storage, wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil.

If unopened and continuously refrigerated, bacon can last 1-2 weeks past its printed use by date before the risk of spoilage sets in. But again, flavor won’t be at its peak.

How to Tell if Bacon Has Spoiled

Because bacon can look and smell fine even when deteriorating, the use by date isn’t a foolproof indicator of safety. You also need to rely on your senses and inspect the bacon carefully before eating.

Watch for these signs that bacon has gone bad

  • Grey, brownish or odd colored patches
  • Dryness or hardening
  • Strange, unpleasant or “off” odors
  • Slimy texture or sticky ooze
  • Mold fuzzy spots – discard the whole package if this appears anywhere

Bacon exhibiting any of these red flags should be thrown away. Don’t taste questionable bacon to try and determine if it’s okay – illness-causing bacteria won’t make it taste spoiled.

As long as your 3-day old bacon still looks, feels and smells normal, the odds are in your favor. But extreme caution is warranted as you inch closer to the use by date.

Risks of Eating Spoiled Bacon

Eating rancid, bacteria-laden bacon can cause unpleasant side effects ranging from stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea to vomiting and fever. In severe cases, it can even progress to a serious illness requiring hospitalization.

Two high-risk pathogens to be aware of with spoiled pork are salmonella and listeria. Salmonella causes salmonellosis, with symptoms including stomach cramps, dehydration, headache and bloody diarrhea.

Listeria leads to listeriosis, marked by fever, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions – it primarily poses risk for pregnant women, newborns and those with weakened immune systems.

So while you may dodge getting sick from bacon that’s slightly past prime, it’s absolutely not worth taking chances with clearly spoiled meat. When in doubt, throw it out!

Storing Bacon Properly

To help bacon last as long as possible, proper storage is key. Here are some tips:

  • Refrigerate unopened bacon in original packaging until the use by date.

  • Once opened, rewrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil. Place in a zip top bag if needed to prevent leaking.

  • Freeze unused portions for longer shelf life. Wrap well and thaw in fridge when ready to use.

  • Cooked bacon can be frozen too. Place slices between paper towels before storing in an airtight container.

  • Don’t let raw bacon touch other foods in the fridge. Keep on a plate or tray to catch leaks.

  • Buy in smaller quantities if you don’t typically use it up quickly.

With optimal storage conditions, you can maximize bacon’s shelf life and reduce safety risks. But remember – once open, use within a week.

What Reddit Users Say About Eating Old Bacon

Over on the r/AskUK subreddit, redditors shared their experiences and thoughts on eating bacon past its prime. Overall, most seemed to agree eating 7-10 day old bacon poses low risk if it looks and smells normal. But anything further warrants extreme caution or tossing.

Some key points mentioned:

  • Cooking thoroughly to 160°F kills any bacteria present. But this doesn’t eliminate the toxins bacteria produce.

  • Freezing can prolong shelf life drastically. Bacon can last up to 2 months frozen.

  • Rashers cured with just salt have a shorter fridge life than commercially packaged bacon with curing salts.

  • Odor is one of the best indicators – if it smells “piggy” or bad, don’t risk eating it.

  • Risk increases the longer bacon is out of date, especially beyond 10 days.

  • Being aware of use by dates and freezing leftovers helps avoid dilemmas with old bacon.

The general consensus was the longer bacon sits past its prime, the more likely trouble arises. But within a week or less of the use by date, most felt the risk is pretty low if the bacon shows no weird appearances or odors.

Should You Risk Eating 3-Day Old Bacon?

Based on use by date guidelines, proper storage conditions, risks of spoilage, and real user experiences, the answer is likely yes – you can probably safely eat bacon 3 days past its date. But only if…

  • It was continually refrigerated below 40°F.
  • No signs of spoilage like sliminess, smell, or color changes are visible.
  • You cook it thoroughly to 160°F minimum internal temperature.

However, many recommend erring on the side of caution when it comes to meat and food safety. If you see any questionable signs or are still uneasy, it may be wisest to discard the bacon and avoid the gamble.

With fresh bacon readily available at stores, chucking a doubtful package probably won’t break the bank. Getting sick from dodgy meats can cost far more in time, discomfort, and medical expenses.

At the end of the day, listen to your gut. If your bacon instincts scream no, play it safe. But if both your senses and common sense give the green light, then maybe that BLT for lunch can happen after all. Just be sure to enjoy it immediately and cook up any leftovers within the next 3 days max.



Is bacon ok 3 days out of date?

Uncooked bacon If you are storing unopened uncured bacon in the fridge, it will last about one week past the “sell by” date on the package. In the freezer, unopened bacon could last up to six months. Unopened bacon may last roughly two weeks in the fridge and eight months in the freezer.

How long is bacon good past the expiration date?

If your bacon has a “sell by” date, use it within one week after the date listed, or freeze it for up to a month. On the other hand, a “use by” date (or “best if used by” date) indicates when a product passes peak quality. The USDA advises tossing bacon that has exceeded its “use by” date.

Is bacon good after 3 days?

Information. You can keep bacon in the refrigerator at 40 ºF or below for one week. Bacon can also be frozen at 0 ºF for four months (for best quality).

How to tell if bacon has gone bad?

The most notable sign of rancid bacon is a change in appearance. Bacon that has gone bad doesn’t retain its redness and will instead take on a brown, gray, or greenish hue, and the color itself will seem faded. Rancid bacon also takes on an unpleasant odor and may become sticky or slimy.

Can you eat bacon after the expiration date?

While bacon can last beyond this date if stored properly and there are no signs of spoilage, consuming it after this date does come with some risk. It’s always a good idea to check your bacon before cooking it, especially if it’s past its “use by” date.

Is it safe to eat bacon 3 days past its “use by” date?

When it comes to bacon, the “use by” date is an important indicator of its freshness and safety for consumption. While it’s always best to err on the side of caution and follow the recommended guidelines, you may be wondering if it’s still safe to eat bacon that’s three days past its “use by” date. The short answer is that it depends.

Can you eat bacon after the use-by date?

The short answer is no, it is not recommended to eat bacon after the use-by date. The use-by date is a guide to help consumers determine when the product is at its peak quality and freshness. Consuming bacon after this date can increase the risk of foodborne illness and spoilage.

How long does Bacon last if unopened?

However, if any of these signs are present, it’s best to discard the bacon to avoid the risk of foodborne illness. It’s important to note that while bacon can last for up to two weeks beyond its “use by” date if unopened and refrigerated properly, once opened, it should be consumed within seven days.

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