Bacon is a beloved breakfast staple that can also be used in a variety of dishes. But what happens when you buy a large package of bacon and can’t use it all at once?
Fear not, because vacuum sealing is a great way to extend the shelf life of your bacon and reduce food waste. But how long can you expect your vacuum-sealed bacon to last in the fridge?
In this article, we’ll explore the guidelines for storing and preserving bacon, as well as tips for maximizing its shelf life. So sit back, relax, and get ready to learn everything you need to know about vacuum-sealed bacon.
How Long Does Vacuum Sealed Bacon Last In The Fridge?
Vacuum-sealed bacon can last longer than bacon that is not vacuum-sealed. If stored properly, vacuum-sealed bacon can last up to two months in the refrigerator, six months in the freezer, or one year in the pantry.
To maximize the shelf life of your vacuum-sealed bacon, it is important to store it in the refrigerator or freezer at the proper temperature and in an airtight container or bag. Additionally, it is important to check the expiration date and follow the storage instructions on the package to ensure safety.
It’s important to note that freshness guidelines for bacon are entirely dependent on proper storage. If you don’t treat your bacon right to begin with, it will go bad in the blink of an eye. To store your bacon properly and extend its lifespan, it must be promptly refrigerated and kept at a consistent temperature of 40oF or below, whether cooked or raw.
In these conditions, the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) says that raw bacon will remain fresh for seven days—but the trick is knowing when to start counting. Per the USDA, vacuum-sealed packages will remain safe to eat for seven days past the sell-by date, which in some cases might be weeks after you purchased it at the store.
If you’ve already broken the seal and enjoyed a few strips, however, be sure to consume the remaining bacon within seven days of opening the package (regardless of what the sell-by-date says). Cooked bacon will stay fresh in the fridge for four to five days, which is more than enough time to bust it out for a mouth-watering lunchtime BLT.
The Benefits Of Vacuum Sealing Bacon
Vacuum sealing bacon has several benefits that make it a worthwhile investment. Firstly, it extends the shelf life of the bacon by preventing bacteria growth and reducing the risk of spoilage. When vacuum-sealed, bacon can last up to two months in the fridge and up to six months in the freezer.
Secondly, vacuum sealing bacon allows for better portion control and reduces waste. You can cook more bacon than you need and then vacuum-seal any leftovers to use at a later time. This not only saves you time but also ensures that you always have bacon on hand whenever you need it.
Thirdly, vacuum-sealed bacon is protected from external influences such as atmospheric dehydration, freezer burn, and mold. This ensures that the bacon retains its flavor and texture for a longer period of time.
Lastly, vacuum-sealed bacon is easy to store and transport. It takes up less space in your fridge or freezer and can easily be stacked with other foods without the risk of cross-contamination or odors.
Proper Storage Guidelines For Vacuum-Sealed Bacon
When it comes to vacuum-sealed bacon, proper storage is key to extending its lifespan. Here are some guidelines to follow:
1. Store in an airtight container or bag: This will help prevent any air from getting in and causing freezer burn or spoilage.
2. Refrigerate or freeze promptly: To ensure freshness, vacuum-sealed bacon should be refrigerated or frozen as soon as possible after purchase or opening.
3. Keep at a consistent temperature: Bacon should be kept at a consistent temperature of 40oF or below, whether cooked or raw. This can be achieved by storing it in the coldest part of the refrigerator or freezer.
4. Check the expiration date: Be sure to check the expiration date on the package and follow any storage instructions provided.
5. Use within recommended timeframes: According to the USDA, vacuum-sealed packages will remain safe to eat for seven days past the sell-by date. Once opened, consume the remaining bacon within seven days of opening the package (regardless of what the sell-by-date says). Cooked bacon will stay fresh in the fridge for four to five days.
By following these guidelines, you can maximize the shelf life of your vacuum-sealed bacon and reduce food waste.
Signs Your Bacon Has Gone Bad
While vacuum-sealed bacon can last longer than regular bacon, it is still important to check for signs of spoilage before consuming it. Here are some signs that your vacuum-sealed bacon has gone bad:
1. Discoloration: Fresh bacon should have a pinkish-red color with white streaks of fat. If your bacon has taken on a green, gray, or brown hue, it indicates the presence of bacteria and/or fungi, and it’s time to toss it.
2. Unpleasant smell: Fresh bacon should have a natural meaty smell. If your bacon smells sour, fishy, rotting, or just really unpleasant, it may be spoiled. Bacteria growth and rancidity can make bacon smell nasty.
3. Slimy or sticky texture: Fresh bacon should be soft and moist. If your bacon feels slimy or sticky to the touch, it may indicate spoilage.
4. Mold: Any spots of mold on your bacon are definite signs that it has gone bad and should be discarded immediately.
5. Dull color: The signature red hue of fresh bacon may start to become dull and fade into a grey, brown, or greenish color when it spoils.
If you notice any signs of spoilage with your vacuum-sealed bacon, discard it immediately to prevent contamination of other meats and products in your kitchen. It’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to food safety.
Tips For Maximizing The Shelf Life Of Vacuum-Sealed Bacon
If you want to extend the shelf life of your vacuum-sealed bacon even further, there are some tips you can follow:
1. Store the bacon at the proper temperature: To keep your vacuum-sealed bacon fresh, it is important to store it in the refrigerator or freezer at a consistent temperature of 40oF or below. This will help prevent bacteria growth and keep your bacon safe to eat.
2. Use an airtight container or bag: To prevent air and moisture from getting in and causing spoilage, store your vacuum-sealed bacon in an airtight container or bag. This will help keep it fresh for longer.
3. Check the expiration date: Always check the expiration date on the package before storing your vacuum-sealed bacon. Make sure to use it before the expiration date to ensure maximum freshness and safety.
4. Follow storage instructions on the package: Different brands of vacuum-sealed bacon may have different storage instructions, so make sure to follow them carefully. This will help ensure that your bacon stays fresh and safe to eat for as long as possible.
By following these tips, you can maximize the shelf life of your vacuum-sealed bacon and reduce food waste. Enjoy delicious, fresh bacon whenever you want by storing it properly!
Creative Ways To Use Up Your Vacuum-Sealed Bacon
If you’ve got vacuum-sealed bacon that’s nearing its expiration date, don’t worry! There are plenty of creative ways to use it up before it goes bad. Here are some ideas:
1. Bacon bits: Chop up your bacon into small pieces and fry them until crispy. These bacon bits can be used to top salads, soups, baked potatoes, or even scrambled eggs.
2. Bacon-wrapped anything: Wrap your vacuum-sealed bacon around anything you like! Some popular options include asparagus, chicken breasts, shrimp, and scallops.
3. BLT sandwich: This classic sandwich is a great way to use up bacon that’s still fresh but needs to be eaten soon. Layer crispy bacon, lettuce, and tomato between two slices of bread for a delicious lunch.
4. Breakfast burrito: Cook up some scrambled eggs and wrap them in a tortilla with your vacuum-sealed bacon and some cheese for a quick and easy breakfast.
5. Bacon-wrapped dates: This sweet and savory appetizer is always a hit at parties. Simply wrap a piece of bacon around a pitted date and secure it with a toothpick. Bake in the oven until crispy.
6. Bacon mac and cheese: Add some chopped up bacon to your favorite mac and cheese recipe for an extra dose of flavor.
No matter how you choose to use up your vacuum-sealed bacon, just make sure to do it before it goes bad!