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How long does bacon last?

Shelf life, storage tips, and signs of spoilage

Bacon is a popular food worldwide due to its delicious taste and enticing aroma. This article provides information on the optimum storage conditions and shelf life of bacon.

This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts, and fact-checked by experts.
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How long does bacon last? Shelf life & storage tips
Last updated on March 14, 2024, and last reviewed by an expert on February 17, 2024.

The duration that bacon remains fresh is influenced by various elements, such as the bacon’s variety, its packaging status (opened or unopened), and its storage location (refrigerator or freezer).

How long does bacon last? Shelf life & storage tips

Bacon, known for its irresistible aroma and savory flavor, enjoys worldwide popularity.

If you’ve ever cooked it at your place, you might have noticed a sell-by date on its packaging.

However, this date doesn’t exactly tell you how long you can keep eating the bacon without worries.

Actually, how long bacon stays good for relies on several aspects, including its type, how you store it, and whether it’s been opened or cooked already.

This article offers insights into the lifespan of bacon — plus tips on storing it to maintain its best quality and longevity.

In this article

Average shelf life of bacon

The shelf life of bacon is determined by factors like its storage conditions, whether it has been cooked, and the bacon’s type.

Typically, unopened bacon stays fresh for up to 2 weeks in the fridge and around 8 months in the freezer.

Once opened but uncooked, bacon’s freshness lasts about 1 week in the fridge and can extend to 6 months in the freezer.

Cooked bacon, when stored correctly, tends to have a shorter lifespan, staying good for about 4–5 days in the fridge and around 1 month in the freezer.

If you decide to keep the bacon grease, it can be kept in the fridge for 6 months or frozen for up to 9 months before it turns bad.

Different bacon varieties may also vary in how long they last.

For instance, cooked Canadian bacon can be kept in the fridge for 3–4 days or frozen for between 4 and 8 weeks.

Other types, such as pancetta, turkey bacon, and beef bacon, have a similar shelf life to regular bacon, both in the fridge and freezer.

Summary: With the right storage, bacon’s freshness can range from several days to many months in the fridge or freezer, depending on its type and whether it’s been cooked or opened.

How to store bacon

Storing bacon correctly can greatly extend its freshness and quality.

Immediately refrigerate or freeze bacon after buying or using it.

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For uncooked, unopened bacon, you can keep it in its original packaging, but consider wrapping it in aluminum foil if you plan to freeze it to avoid freezer burn.

Once opened but not cooked, bacon should be wrapped in aluminum foil or placed in a sealed container to keep it fresh before refrigerating or freezing.

Cooked bacon is best stored in small portions wrapped in paper towels to absorb excess grease before freezing.

For unsliced bacon slabs, wrapping them in foil or putting them in a sealed container in the fridge can keep them fresh for several weeks, but avoid freezing as they may spoil quickly.

Summary: Properly storing bacon in the fridge or freezer, either by wrapping it well or using airtight containers, helps maintain its shelf life.

Signs of spoilage

Being vigilant about bacon’s smell, texture, and color is key to determining its freshness.

Bacon that starts losing its vibrant red color, turning grey, brown, or green, is likely going bad.

If the bacon feels slimy or sticky, instead of moist and soft, it’s a sign it’s spoiled.

A sour or rotten smell is a clear indicator that bacon should not be consumed.

Dispose of any bacon showing these spoilage signs to avoid cross-contaminating other foods.

Summary: Bacon that appears discolored, smells off, or feels slimy should be discarded due to spoilage.


When stored correctly, bacon can stay fresh from a few days to several months in your refrigerator or freezer.

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The longevity of bacon depends on various elements, such as the type of bacon, how you store it, and whether it’s been opened or already cooked.

Knowing how to store bacon properly and recognizing signs of spoilage are key steps to ensuring your bacon remains of the highest quality for as long as possible.

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