How Long Can You Keep Frozen Bacon After the Expiration Date?

Bacon is a breakfast staple in many households. The crispy, salty flavor it adds to dishes like omelets, pancakes, sandwiches, and more makes it a must-have for many people. But like any perishable food, bacon has a limited shelf life. This leads to the common question – how long can you keep frozen bacon after the expiration date?

As a food blogger, I get asked this a lot! People worry about wasting food and money when bacon reaches its date. The good news is that the expiration date doesn’t mean frozen bacon has to be thrown out Properly stored frozen bacon can safely last for weeks or months beyond that date

In this article, I’ll explain everything you need to know about the shelf life and storage of frozen bacon. We’ll cover

  • How long frozen unopened and opened bacon lasts
  • Signs that bacon has spoiled
  • How to tell if frozen bacon is still good
  • Tips for freezing bacon correctly
  • Safe thawing methods
  • The shelf life of other types of frozen bacon

I’ll also answer some common questions about enjoying bacon past its date. My goal is to give you confidence about how long you can delight in frozen bacon without worrying about safety or quality!

How Long Does Frozen Bacon Last Beyond its Expiration Date?

First, let’s start with some baseline shelf life information. The expiration date on a package of unopened bacon is about 1-2 weeks beyond the “sell by” date. However, freezing can extend the shelf life for 6-8 months past the printed date.

For opened packages of bacon that have been re-wrapped and frozen, you typically have:

  • Fresh cooked bacon: 1 week
  • Cooked bacon: 7-10 days
  • Uncooked bacon: 6 months

The clock for frozen bacon starts ticking on the day you put it in the freezer. The quality slowly declines over time, but frozen bacon remains safe to eat if it’s been stored properly. I’ll go over proper storage soon.

Can You Eat Frozen Bacon After the Expiration Date?

Eating frozen foods past their expiration date is generally safe, given the food was handled properly. With frozen bacon specifically, safety mainly comes down to how it smells, looks, and feels once thawed.

I recommend inspecting the bacon carefully once thawed. Signs that frozen bacon has gone bad include:

  • Slimy, sticky, or mushy texture
  • Dull or faded color
  • Off or sour smell
  • Any mold spots

If your thawed bacon has none of these characteristics, and was stored at 0°F or below, it should be fine to cook and eat! Trust your senses. If the bacon seems normal, you can enjoy it. But always discard bacon that smells or looks off.

Storing Bacon Correctly For Maximum Freshness

Freezer temperatures and packaging are key for keeping frozen bacon safe and tasty for the long haul. Here are some storage tips:

  • Maintain a freezer temp of 0°F or below. This prevents spoilage and quality loss.

  • Package bacon tightly in freezer bags, aluminum foil, or airtight containers. This protects against ice crystals and freezer burn.

  • Wrap individual slices or pieces separately before freezing. This prevents them sticking together.

  • Squeeze out air and seal bags/containers tightly. Lack of oxygen = less opportunity for bacteria!

  • Label packages with dates and contents. This lets you rotate older bacon to the front.

  • Once opened, re-wrap bacon properly before returning to the freezer.

Following these steps carefully prevents freezer burn and quality issues like taste and texture changes.

Thawing Frozen Bacon Safely

Improper thawing leads to bacterial growth, so you want to thaw using these methods:

  • Fridge: Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

  • Cold water: Seal bacon in a bag and submerge in cold water. Change water every 30 mins.

  • Microwave: Use the “defrost” setting if available. Otherwise, defrost at 30% power. Cook bacon immediately after thawing.

  • Skillet: Cook frozen bacon straight from freezer. It may take slightly longer.

Do not thaw bacon at room temp or in hot water! This puts you at risk for bacterial growth.

Freezing Bacon Yourself

You can extend fresh bacon’s shelf life for 6-8 months by freezing it yourself. Here’s a simple process:

  • Buy fresh bacon before the “sell by” date, and preferably with at least 1-2 weeks before.

  • Inspect for quality. Avoid meat that smells off or has discoloration.

  • Wrap individual slices in wax paper, then place in freezer bags or airtight containers. Squeeze out air.

  • Label the package with freeze date and contents.

  • Freeze at 0°F or below. Use within 6-8 months for best quality.

Different Types of Frozen Bacon and Their Shelf Lives

The shelf lives vary for other common types of frozen packaged bacon:

  • Bacon bits: Unopened – 6 months. Opened – 6 weeks in fridge, 6 months in freezer.

  • Precooked bacon: 2 months in fridge, 6 months in freezer.

  • Raw bacon strips/slabs: 6-8 months in freezer.

  • Canadian bacon: 1 week in fridge, 6 months in freezer.

  • Turkey bacon: 6 months in freezer when unopened.

Always rely on your senses once thawed to ensure safety and quality.

Common Questions About Enjoying Bacon Past Its Date

Now let’s go over some frequently asked questions about consuming frozen bacon after the printed expiration date:

Is it safe to eat expired frozen bacon if it was kept frozen the whole time?

Yes, consumed frozen bacon is safe past its date if stored continuously at 0°F or below. Inspect thawed bacon carefully before cooking.

What happens if frozen bacon is accidentally left out overnight?

If thawed more than 2 hours at room temperature, it’s best to discard it. Bacteria multiply quickly at unsafe temps.

Can you refreeze bacon after it’s been thawed?

It’s not recommended. Thawing and refreezing bacon reduces the eating quality. Use thawed bacon within a few days.

Does cooking or frying kill any bacteria in spoiled bacon?

No, some toxic bacteria can survive high temperatures. Always discard bacon that smells or looks bad.

How can you tell if thawed bacon has gone bad?

Signs frozen bacon has spoiled include an unpleasant odor, sticky or slimy texture, dull color, or mold growth.

The Takeaway – Enjoy Frozen Bacon Past Its Date Confidently

With the right storage and handling, frozen bacon can retain good eating quality for weeks or months past the date on the package. Use your judgment, be diligent with temp control, wrap properly, and rotate older packages forward. Then you can feel good about reducing waste and enjoying delicious bacon!

Expired Bacon Experiment


Can you eat expired bacon if it’s been frozen?

Although foods that are properly stored in a freezer are safe to eat indefinitely, the USDA recommends using frozen bacon within four months. Prevent freezer burn by wrapping the unopened package in a layer of aluminum foil (and label it with the date).

Is frozen 2 year old bacon good?

Poisonous microbes like bacteria are put into sleep mode by freezing. In simpler terms, it’s almost impossible for most frozen foods to ever become spoiled in a working freezer. So, from a food safety perspective, your two-year-old meat is good to go.

Does bacon in the freezer go bad?

You can also store bacon in the freezer. Uncooked, unopened bacon will last up to eight months in the freezer, while leftover raw bacon that’s properly stored will last up to six months in the freezer. Cooked bacon, stored properly, will last up to one month in the freezer.

Can you eat frozen food past the expiration date?

According to the USDA, food poisoning bacteria does not grow in the freezer, so no matter how long a food has been frozen, it is safe to eat. However, food that has been stored in the freezer for an extended period of time may lose its quality, meaning it may be dry and may not taste as good as newly frozen food.

How long does frozen Bacon last?

Frozen bacon can last for a long time if stored properly. In fact, it can last up to 6-8 months in the freezer. However, it’s important to note that the expiration date on the package is not a hard and fast rule. If you’ve stored your bacon correctly, it may still be safe to consume even after the expiration date has passed.

How long does Bacon last after expiration?

Properly stored and handled bacon can last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator and up to 2 months in the freezer. In conclusion, the use-by date on bacon is only a guideline, and it is safe to consume bacon after it has expired as long as it has been stored properly.

Can you eat frozen bacon if it expires?

Freezing can extend the shelf life of bacon for up to 6-8 months. If you have frozen bacon that has passed its expiration date, it’s still safe to eat as long as it was stored properly and doesn’t show any signs of spoilage. Bacon is a beloved breakfast staple that can also be used to add flavor to a variety of dishes.

How long does Bacon last in the fridge?

Unopened bacon can last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator and up to 8 months in the freezer. Opened but uncooked bacon may only last around 1 week in the refrigerator and up to 6 months in the freezer. Cooked bacon that has been stored properly can generally last around 4-5 days in the refrigerator and up to 1 month in the freezer.

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