How Long Can You Leave Uncooked Bacon Out?

As a busy home cook and food safety advocate, I get asked this question a lot: how long can you leave raw bacon sitting out before it becomes unsafe to eat? It’s an important question, because we’ve all been there – you start prepping bacon for breakfast and get distracted, leaving it out too long.

While raw bacon should always be refrigerated promptly after opening, accidents happen. In this article, I’ll cover everything you need to know about leaving uncooked bacon out at room temperature, including:

  • Time limits before tossing
  • Risks of foodborne illness
  • Signs bacon has spoiled
  • Proper fridge storage steps
  • Safe cooking guidelines

My goal is to give you confidence in handling raw bacon safely. Let’s dive in!

How Long Can Uncooked Bacon Sit Out? Time Limits

According to food safety experts, raw bacon should never sit out for more than 2 hours at room temperature After 2 hours, bacteria like salmonella can multiply to unsafe levels

If the room temp is above 90°F, toss bacon after just 1 hour. Warm conditions speed up bacteria growth.

For safety, always throw away uncooked bacon left out overnight or for more than 2 hours. Don’t risk getting sick – toss it without second guessing.

Dangers of Consuming Bacon Left Out Too Long

Eating raw bacon that’s sat out too long can lead to foodborne illness from bacteria including:

  • Salmonella – Causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, cramps

  • Listeria – Headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance

  • E. coli – Severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting

Vulnerable groups like pregnant women, young children, elderly and those with immunity issues are most at risk. But anyone can get sick from spoiled bacon.

How to Tell If Uncooked Bacon Has Gone Bad

Rely on your senses to determine if raw bacon has spoiled after sitting out:

  • Smell – Rotten, unpleasant odor

  • Color – Dull, faded; grayish, brownish tones

  • Texture – Sticky, slimy, mushy

  • Mold – Fuzzy spots or webbing

When in doubt, throw it out! Don’t taste raw bacon you suspect is spoiled.

Storing Uncooked Bacon Safely

To prevent foodborne illness, always refrigerate uncooked bacon right after opening. Here’s how:

  • Refrigerate at 40°F or below

  • Wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil

  • Place in sealed container or bag

  • Use within 5-7 days for best quality

The fridge inhibits bacteria growth that causes spoilage. Follow these steps for optimal safety.

Cooking Bacon Thoroughly

Always cook raw bacon to at least 145°F internally to kill harmful bacteria. Check doneness by texture and color. Bacon should be crispy and browned.

Discard any uncooked bacon you suspect is spoiled – don’t attempt to cook it. Safety first!

What If Bacon Was Left Out Overnight?

If you discover a package of raw bacon that was accidentally left out overnight or longer:

✔️ Toss it – Bacon left over 2 hours at room temperature may be unsafe.

✔️ Don’t smell or taste it – Inhaling bacteria can also make you sick.

✔️ Sanitize surfaces and utensils – Kill lingering bacteria with a disinfecting spray.

Don’t take risks with foodborne illnesses! When in doubt, throw it out.

Can You Put Bacon Back in The Fridge After Leaving Out?

No, don’t attempt to refrigerate and save bacon left out more than 2 hours. At that point, bacteria may have multiplied to unsafe levels. Play it safe and discard meat left out too long.

What About Uncooked Turkey Bacon?

The 2 hour room temperature limit applies to any raw bacon product, including turkey bacon. Don’t consume uncooked turkey bacon left out more than 2 hours – follow the same safety rules.

Key Takeaways

  • Toss raw bacon left out more than 2 hours (1 hour if over 90°F)

  • Don’t risk getting sick from bacon that could be spoiled

  • Look for slimy texture, dull or faded color, and off smells

  • Always store raw bacon sealed in the fridge after opening

  • Cook to 145°F minimum internal temperature

  • Never try to save bacon left out overnight or beyond the time limits

How Long Can You Leave Food Out?


How long before raw bacon goes bad?

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 long can bacon sit in a car?

Two hours is the limit for keeping food safe outside the refrigerator or freezer; one hour if the outside temperature is 90 °F ( 32.2 °C) or above.

How long can I leave bacon grease out?

Pure bacon fat will stay “safe” indefinitely for frying, regardless whether it’s refrigerated or not; bacteria cannot grow in pure oils, lard, and fats. But keeping bacon fat, and all fat “drippings” from roasting, in the refrigerator ensures it stays firm and at best quality.

Does bacon need to be refrigerated after cooking?

COOKED BACON PRODUCTS Take the bacon home immediately and refrigerate it at 40 °F or below. For shelf-stable, cooked bacon, store the product at 85 °F or below. Refrigerate after opening.

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