Turkey bacon, which is a delicious and lean alternative to traditional pork bacon, has always been a staple in my carnivorous lifestyle.
However, I often find myself with leftover turkey bacon that I store in the refrigerator for later use.
I needed to know how long turkey bacon is good in the fridge, so I checked what the USDA had to say and talked to my local butcher.
Here's how long turkey bacon lasts in the fridge so you'll know its freshness timeline.
- Uncooked turkey bacon can stay in the fridge for 7-14 days and 3-5 days if cooked.
- Proper storage is essential to increase the shelf life of your turkey bacon.
- Bad smell, molds, or slimy texture indicate your turkey bacon has gone bad.
How Long Does Raw Turkey Bacon Last In The Fridge
Raw turkey bacon lasts in the fridge for 7-14 days. Generally, turkey bacon has a shorter shelf life than regular bacon.
An unopened package of turkey bacon has a sell-by date, and it's best to eat before this date.
Always check the sell-by date when buying bacon to ensure it hasn't passed .
So, plan on getting your turkey bacon no later than seven days before consuming it.
If properly stored, turkey bacon may still be safe to eat seven days after the expiration date but may have outlived its best qualities.
"Food kept in the fridge or freezer for an excessive amount of time may be of lower quality, but no one is likely to get sick from it."
- United States Department of Agriculture
Keep turkey bacon in their original packaging in the fridge.
If that's impossible, cook an opened package of turkey bacon within three to four days of opening since the meat is exposed to air, which may cause spoilage more quickly than it would have if kept in its packaging.
Turkey bacon can be frozen for up to 6 months if it won't be used within a week of the written expiration date.
For optimal quality, consume frozen turkey bacon within 1-2 months of storage .
Always thaw frozen turkey bacon in the refrigerator when you want to cook.
How Long Does Cooked Turkey Bacon Last In The Fridge
Cooked turkey bacon can last up to 5 days in the fridge though it won't stay good as long as uncooked turkey bacon.
Freezing is best when you don't intend to consume the cooked bacon within 3–5 days.
Leftover turkey bacon should be kept in the refrigerator until it is time to serve.
You can reheat turkey bacon by putting damp paper towels on top and back in the oven or microwave for 15 to 30 seconds on medium-high heat.
It's crucial to keep leftover turkey bacon away from direct heat sources like the cooktop and oven to prevent drying out.
10 Tips On How To Store Turkey Bacon In The Fridge
Read the following guidelines to extend the shelf life of fresh turkey bacon you have in your kitchen:
- Cook through: Cook turkey bacon well until it achieves an internal temperature of 165°F. Despite possible variations in cooking times, it should be a crispy, deep brown. There shouldn't be any pink or translucent flesh visible when you remove your turkey bacon from the oven.
- Drain fat: For best results when storing turkey bacon, place cooked it on paper towels to absorb any excess fat.
- Separate bacon strips: I recommend separating your turkey bacon into two or three portions so you'll open what you plan to eat and leave the rest unexposed to air.
- Wrap & label: Use aluminum foil or plastic wrap to store turkey bacon. I suggest using plastic wrap as it helps maintain moisture. That way, your turkey bacon won't dry out when you reheat it. If you have a lot of bacon to freeze, use a heavy-duty freezer bag. Label the date and the contents of the package on the container or zip-top bag.
- Double wrap: Double wrappings would also significantly reduce the risk of the meat being contaminated by air or other elements.
- Maintain 2 hour-rule: Returning turkey bacon to the fridge within two hours of opening and ensuring it doesn't come into touch with other foods will help keep it fresh and extend its shelf life.
- Cool-cooked turkey bacon: Let the bacon cool to a specific point by letting it sit for a while. Rather than simply freezing it when it is hot, the cooling procedure helps extend its shelf life. Remember, meat items should never be left at room temperature for more than one hour if the room temperature is too hot.
- Remove air: Squeeze out any air in the packaging to have fresh bacon and avoid freezer burn.
- Keep the refrigerator's temperature low: The USDA recommends keeping it at or below 40°F . The ideal temperature range is between 32 and 38 degrees. Keep an appliance thermometer in the fridge to check these temperatures if your refrigerator lacks one that's inbuilt.
- Keep in the coldest area of the refrigerator: Since the temperature inside the refrigerator door is higher than inside the interior, cooked bacon should be kept there to extend its shelf life.
Also Read: Can a Thawed Turkey Be Refrozen?
4 Signs To Tell Turkey Bacon Has Gone Bad
Check the scent, color, and texture when determining whether turkey bacon has gone bone.
1. Unusual Color
Like traditional bacon, fresh turkey bacon is naturally pink with white fat marbling .
As soon as bacon begins to go bad, it loses its original pink color.
Spoiled turkey bacon usually has a gray or brown appearance.
The meat can also have fuzzy-looking blue or white areas if the product has started to sprout mold.
If you detect these colors on the meat, although the color changes could be slow, something is wrong.
Discard the turkey bacon as soon as you see these red flags.
Also Read: Ground Beef Turning Gray
2. Yucky Smell
You must also smell it to determine if it's terrible. It would release a sour smell that is suggestive of rotten meat.
Tossing is best to prevent further harm to the fridge's other parts.
Trusting your nose while inspecting bacon is vital since even bacon with a good exterior might still smell awful.
3. Slimy Texture
The texture of good bacon is juicy and supple, like traditional bacon.
If you perform the touch test, throw the raw meat out immediately after you feel it is slimy.
Turkey bacon develops lactic acid bacteria, which causes it to become slimy .
This is another well-known indication that your bacon has expired.
It is not advisable to eat the texture since it turns slimy and occasionally gooey.
4. Sour Taste
Based on the mentioned signs, it's best to avoid tasting the meat at all costs if it has gone bad.
Spoiled turkey bacon has bacteria that can make you sick if eaten.
The taste would also be highly sour and bitter, so avoiding consuming it altogether is best.
Instead, smell the bacon, touch it, or check the color and discard it if it doesn't seem good.
What Happens If I Eat Bad Turkey Bacon?
You may get food poisoning if you eat bad turkey bacon. Stomach cramps, nausea, & diarrhea are a few symptoms you'll have.
Can I Eat Cooked Turkey Bacon That's 7 Days Old?
No, you can’t eat cooked turkey bacon that’s 7 days old. Cooked turkey bacon is only safe to eat within 3-5 days of cooking and storing it in the fridge.