How Long Can Cooked Turkey Bacon Be Left Out Before It Goes Bad?

Turkey bacon has become a popular lower-fat alternative to regular pork bacon. It has a similar smoky, salty flavor but fewer calories and less saturated fat I often cook up a pack of turkey bacon to have on hand for quick breakfast sandwiches, salads, and other dishes throughout the week But there’s nothing worse than grabbing a few pieces of turkey bacon from the fridge only to discover they’ve gone bad. So how long can cooked turkey bacon be left out before it goes bad? I did some research to find the answers.

Storing Leftover Cooked Turkey Bacon

The first rule of food safety with meat, poultry, and seafood is to never leave it sitting out for more than 2 hours at room temperature. This is the danger zone for bacterial growth. So cooked turkey bacon should be refrigerated within 2 hours of cooking. But how long does cooked turkey bacon last in the fridge?

  • Refrigerator: 3 to 5 days
  • Freezer: 2 to 3 months

To maximize freshness, store cooked turkey bacon in an airtight container or zip-top bag. This prevents fridge odors from seeping in. Push out as much air as possible before sealing to limit oxidation.

If storing for more than a few days, consider freezing individual slices in a single layer separated by parchment paper This prevents them from freezing together in a clump Thaw overnight in the fridge before using.

Signs Your Turkey Bacon Has Gone Bad

Trust your senses to tell if cooked turkey bacon has gone bad. Signs of spoiled turkey bacon include:

  • Slimy texture – Turkey bacon should feel firm and dry to the touch. Discard if it feels slimy or sticky.

  • Grey color – Fresh cooked turkey bacon is tan or pink. If it turns grey or green, it’s gone bad.

  • Mold growth – Any fuzziness or colorful mold spots mean toss it.

  • Rancid smell – Cooked turkey bacon will smell meaty. A sour, ammonia-like, or rotten odor means it’s spoiled.

  • Discolored package – For unopened turkey bacon, look for an opaque, slimy liquid in the pack or discoloration of the meat.

Don’t risk eating turkey bacon that shows signs of spoilage. It can contain harmful bacteria that cause food poisoning. Remember, when in doubt, throw it out!

Safely Reheating Cooked Turkey Bacon

If you have leftovers chilled in the fridge, you can safely reheat turkey bacon using these methods:

  • Microwave – Place slices between paper towels and microwave in 30 second intervals until hot.

  • Skillet – Cook over medium heat on both sides until sizzling hot. Use a little oil to prevent sticking.

  • Oven – Bake at 400°F on a parchment lined baking sheet for 4 to 5 minutes, flipping halfway.

  • Air fryer – Cook at 350°F for 1 to 2 minutes, flipping halfway, until crispy.

Only reheat the amount you plan to eat. Don’t keep reheating turkey bacon over and over. Always practice good food safety when handling cooked meats.

Creative Ways to Use Leftover Turkey Bacon

Along with breakfast sandwiches, here are some tasty ways to use up leftover cooked turkey bacon before it goes bad:

  • Chop and add to salads for a smoky, salty crunch.

  • Crumble on top of baked potatoes, soups, or casseroles.

  • Make turkey bacon bits to use as salad topping.

  • Fry some Brussels sprouts, green beans, or asparagus in turkey bacon grease.

  • Wrap pieces of turkey bacon around smoked gouda chunks for an appetizer.

  • Mix crumbled turkey bacon into cornbread, biscuit, or scone batter.

  • Sprinkle crumbled turkey bacon over a pizza before serving.

With proper storage and reheating, cooked turkey bacon will easily stay fresh for 3 to 5 days in the fridge. Follow the expiration date for unopened packages. And use your eyes, nose, and common sense to determine if turkey bacon is still safe to eat. If you have any doubts about the freshness, it’s not worth risking your health. Just toss it!

How Long Can You Leave Food Out?


Does turkey bacon need to be refrigerated after cooking?

Refrigerator: Cooked bacon can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. Make sure to place it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out.

Can you eat cooked bacon left out for 24 hours?

Typically, cooked bacon can only sit out for 2 hours. After 1-2 hours, the bacon will have so many bacteria on its surface that it is no longer safe for you to consume. Uncured cooked bacon will often begin to develop a rancid odor if it is left at room temperature for a few hours.

Does cooked bacon need to be refrigerated?

Under USDA guidelines, both raw bacon and cooked bacon products should be refrigerated at 40 or below for the best results. This is recommended because the temperature is low enough to minimize the risk of bacteria growth without causing freezer burn.

Can you pre-cook turkey bacon and reheat?

You can place your oven baked turkey bacon in freezer-safe bags and store them in the freezer for up to 2 months if desired. For best results, to reheat your bacon pop it back in the oven for a few minutes.

Can you eat turkey bacon if left out overnight?

The safest scenario is that the turkey bacon is placed in an airtight container and put into cold storage within two hours of being cooked. If you leave it out overnight, the same guidelines apply: You should most likely not eat the bacon if it’s been sitting out at room temperature for more than two hours.

How long does turkey bacon last?

If you just purchased the turkey bacon, once you open it, you have about 7 to 14 days. Although this is based on what the manufacturer says, there may be a time when the turkey bacon doesn’t last that long. Again, it’s always good to follow your gut.

Can you leave Bacon outside after cooking?

The advised is that you should not leave it outside for too long once you have cooked your bacon. But then again, bacon is not like other food items because it is cured. Once cooked and left out at room temperature, you can expect it to last for some time, though its taste, texture, and quality will be compromised.

How long can turkey bacon stay in the fridge?

Unopened turkey bacon can be safely stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of two weeks or until seven days after the expiration date, whichever occurs first. If the package is opened, it should be tightly wrapped and can be stored in the fridge for up to one week.

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