Whether you’re looking to embrace a healthier lifestyle or simply explore different culinary options, turkey bacon has emerged as a delicious and lean alternative to its pork counterpart.
With its lower fat content and unique flavor, turkey bacon has gained popularity among health-conscious individuals and bacon enthusiasts alike.
However, like all perishable foods, it’s crucial to understand the proper storage and shelf life of turkey bacon to ensure its quality and safety.
By learning how long turkey bacon remains fresh and following a few simple guidelines, you can savor this delectable breakfast staple or versatile ingredient with confidence and peace of mind.
What is turkey bacon?
Turkey bacon is a type of bacon made from turkey meat instead of the traditional pork. It is created by curing and smoking thin slices of turkey, resulting in a product that closely resembles the appearance and texture of pork bacon.
Turkey bacon offers a leaner and healthier alternative to traditional bacon, as it contains less fat and calories.
While it may not have the same rich flavor and marbling as pork bacon, it still provides a satisfying smoky taste with a slightly different, milder flavor profile.
Turkey bacon has become increasingly popular among individuals seeking a lighter breakfast option or those who prefer to avoid pork for dietary or cultural reasons. Its versatility also makes it a great addition to various recipes and dishes.
How to cook turkey bacon?
- Preheat a non-stick skillet or frying pan over medium heat.
- Place the turkey bacon slices in a single layer in the skillet.
- Cook the turkey bacon for approximately 4-6 minutes, flipping occasionally, until it reaches your desired level of crispness.
- Transfer the cooked turkey bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess grease.
- Serve and enjoy your delicious, crispy turkey bacon!
- Alternatively, you can also cook turkey bacon in the oven by preheating it to 400°F (200°C), placing the bacon slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and baking for about 12-15 minutes or until crispy.
How long does uncooked turkey bacon last in the refrigerator?
Uncooked turkey bacon can typically last in the refrigerator for about one week if stored properly. It is important to check the packaging for any specific instructions or recommended expiration dates provided by the manufacturer.
To extend its shelf life, keep the unopened package of turkey bacon sealed tightly and store it in the coldest part of your refrigerator, typically around 32°F to 40°F (0°C to 4°C).
Once the package is opened, it is advisable to use the turkey bacon within three to five days to ensure its freshness and optimal flavor.
How long does cooked bacon good for?
In the refrigerator, cooked turkey bacon can generally remain good for about 4-5 days when stored properly. It is crucial to place the cooked bacon in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or foil before refrigerating it.
This helps to maintain its freshness and prevent exposure to odors or cross-contamination from other foods in the fridge.
If you need to extend the shelf life of cooked turkey bacon, you can store it in the freezer. When frozen, cooked turkey bacon can last for up to 2-3 months while retaining its quality.
How long does thawed bacon last in the fridge?
Thawed turkey bacon can easily last for a few hours in the refrigerator and for 4-5 days in the freezer. However, even after proper storage, thawed turkey bacon can go wrong sooner; that’s why keep checking its color and smell.
Make sure you don’t have to put thawed turkey bacon back into the freezer because refreezing encourages the bacteria to grow rapidly and contaminate the food.
How long does fully cooked turkey bacon last in the fridge?
Fully cooked and cured turkey bacon can last 7-8 days in the refrigerator. If you cannot use it within this particular period, prefer freezing.
Freezing is the best option to preserve food’s original taste, smell, and texture. It extends food’s shelf life by limiting harmful bacteria growth.
What can you do with leftover turkey bacon?
If you have a bulk of leftover turkey bacon, you can use it for making some delectable dishes for serving your guests at a gathering or party.
Some super delicious dishes in which you can add turkey leftovers are as follows;
- Turkey bacon soup
- Pasta baked with turkey bacon
- Turkey bacon salad sandwich
- Brown sugar-baked turkey bacon
- Turkey bacon frittata
- Creamy pasta with turkey bacon
- Turkey bacon wraps
- Easy cobb salad
- Roasted brussels sprouts with turkey bacon
- Egg muffins with turkey bacon
Besides that, you can use the leftover turkey bacon for topping pizza, mac & cheese, burgers, and salads.
How long does turkey bacon last in the freezer?
Freezing is a great way to extend the shelf life of food items. For example, frozen turkey bacon, whether raw or cooked, can easily last up to four to six months.
To freeze the turkey bacon properly, all you have to do is;
- Wrap the turkey bacon in a plastic wrapper.
- Cover the wrapper with aluminum foil.
- Put the wrapped turkey bacon in an airtight container.
- Place the container in the meat section of the freezer where it is significantly less to be moved.
When you plan to eat turkey bacon, thaw it at least for one whole night in the refrigerator. Once it is melted, put it in the microwave or oven and heat for 1 minute to restore its taste and smell.
How long is raw turkey bacon good for?
A packet of raw turkey bacon will remain good only for seven to fourteen days in the refrigerator, 3-4 hours on the kitchen counter, and 2-3 months in the freezer.
During this duration, if you notice that the color of turkey bacon is turning brown or grey, the texture is a slimy or unpleasant odor, throw it out because it is no longer safe and healthy to eat.
How to safely handle raw turkey bacon?
To safely handle raw turkey bacon, follow these guidelines:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after handling raw turkey bacon to prevent the spread of bacteria.
- Keep raw turkey bacon separate from other foods, especially ready-to-eat items, to avoid cross-contamination. Use separate cutting boards, utensils, and plates for raw and cooked foods.
- Keep raw turkey bacon refrigerated until ready to use. Follow proper storage guidelines and ensure it is stored at or below 40°F (4°C) to prevent bacterial growth.
- Cook turkey bacon thoroughly to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure any potential bacteria are killed. Use a food thermometer to verify the doneness.
- Clean and sanitize any surfaces, utensils, or dishes that come into contact with raw turkey bacon to avoid the spread of bacteria.
What tips should you follow to keep turkey bacon fresh for longer?
Here are some essential tips and tricks that you can use to store the turkey bacon ideally, extend its shelf life, and make it fresh for longer.
- Store unopened turkey bacon in its original packaging in the coldest part of the refrigerator.
- Once opened, transfer remaining slices to an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or foil.
- Keep turkey bacon away from strong odors or foods that can cause cross-contamination.
- Avoid exposing turkey bacon to excessive moisture by patting it dry before storage.
- Use turkey bacon within the recommended time frame for optimal freshness and flavor.
- Follow proper storage guidelines and adhere to the expiration date provided on the packaging.
- Consider freezing any unused portions of turkey bacon for extended shelf life.
- Always check for signs of spoilage, such as an off odor, slimy texture, or discoloration, before consuming.
How to store turkey bacon?
To store turkey bacon properly, follow these guidelines:
- Unopened package: If the turkey bacon is still in its original unopened package, store it in the refrigerator. Make sure the package is tightly sealed and place it in the coldest part of the fridge, usually the lower shelves or the meat drawer.
- Opened package: Once the package of turkey bacon is opened, transfer any remaining slices to an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or foil. This helps prevent exposure to air and moisture, which can cause the bacon to spoil. Again, store it in the refrigerator.
- Freezing: If you want to extend the shelf life of turkey bacon, you can also freeze it. Wrap the slices individually or place them in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag. Label the package with the date to keep track of its storage time.
What is the best way to store turkey bacon?
The best way to store turkey bacon is by keeping it in the refrigerator. If the turkey bacon is unopened, store it in its original packaging in the coldest part of the fridge, such as the meat drawer or lower shelves.
If the package has been opened, transfer the remaining slices to an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or foil. This helps to maintain its freshness and prevent exposure to air and moisture.
Can you freeze turkey bacon?
Yes, you can freeze turkey bacon. Freezing turkey bacon is a great way to extend its shelf life. Ensure the turkey bacon is tightly sealed in an airtight container or freezer bag to prevent freezer burn and maintain its quality. When properly stored, frozen turkey bacon can last for up to 2-3 months in the freezer.
Is turkey bacon ok past use-by date?
It is not recommended to consume turkey bacon past its use-by date. The use-by date is provided by the manufacturer as a guideline for optimal freshness and safety.
While the use-by date is not an instant indicator of spoilage, it is intended to help ensure that the product is consumed within a reasonable timeframe. Consuming turkey bacon that is past its use-by date increases the risk of consuming spoiled or potentially harmful food.
Therefore, to prioritize food safety, it is advisable to adhere to the use-by date and consume the turkey bacon before it expires.
Why does turkey bacon get slimy?
There are a few reasons why turkey bacon may become slimy:
If the turkey bacon is not properly drained or if it comes into contact with excessive moisture during storage, cooking, or packaging, it can contribute to a slimy texture.
A slimy texture in turkey bacon can be an indication of spoilage. Bacterial growth can occur when the bacon is past its expiration date or has not been stored at the proper temperature, leading to a slimy texture as a result of bacterial activity.
Some brands of turkey bacon may contain additives or fillers that can contribute to a slimy texture when cooked.
Is turkey bacon good for you?
Turkey bacon is generally considered a healthier alternative to traditional pork bacon due to its lower fat and calorie content. It contains less saturated fat and cholesterol, which are associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
Additionally, turkey bacon is a good source of protein, providing essential amino acids for muscle growth and repair. However, it is still processed meat and should be consumed in moderation.
Does turkey bacon go bad?
Yes, like any perishable food item, turkey bacon can go bad. While turkey bacon has a longer shelf life compared to traditional pork bacon due to its lower fat content, it is not immune to spoilage.
Over time, exposure to air, temperature fluctuations, and the growth of bacteria can cause turkey bacon to spoil.
How to tell turkey bacon has gone bad?
There are several indicators that can help you determine if turkey bacon has gone bad. Here’s how to tell if turkey bacon has spoiled:
- Visual cues: Look for any changes in color. If the turkey bacon has developed a gray or greenish hue, or if there are signs of mold growth, it is a clear indication of spoilage and should not be consumed.
- Odor: Trust your sense of smell. If the turkey bacon emits a foul or off odor, it is a strong sign that it has gone bad. Spoiled turkey bacon may have a rancid or sour smell, indicating the presence of bacteria.
- Texture: Feel the texture of the turkey bacon. If it feels slimy, excessively sticky, or has a tacky consistency, it is likely spoiled. Fresh turkey bacon should have a smooth and slightly firm texture.
What happens when you eat spoiled turkey bacon?
Eating spoiled turkey bacon can potentially lead to foodborne illnesses and adverse health effects. When meat products like turkey bacon spoil, they can harbor harmful bacteria such as Salmonella, Listeria, or E. coli, which can cause food poisoning.
Consuming spoiled turkey bacon may result in symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, and in severe cases, dehydration and complications requiring medical attention.
Therefore, it is essential to prioritize food safety and discard any turkey bacon that shows signs of spoilage, such as an unusual odor, slimy texture, or discoloration, to avoid the risk of consuming spoiled or contaminated food.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can turkey bacon last in the refrigerator for more than seven days?
No, turkey bacon typically does not last in the refrigerator for more than seven days. It is recommended to consume turkey bacon within one week of the printed expiration date for optimal freshness and safety. Extended storage beyond this time frame increases the risk of spoilage and potential foodborne illnesses.
Does an unopened package of turkey bacon go bad in the fridge?
No, an unopened package of turkey bacon does not go bad in the fridge as long as it is within the expiration date printed on the packaging. It can typically remain good for up to one week past the printed expiration date when stored properly.
How long can you keep an opened package of raw turkey bacon in the fridge?
Once opened, a package of raw turkey bacon can be kept in the fridge for approximately 3-5 days. It is important to ensure it is stored in a sealed container or tightly wrapped to maintain its freshness and prevent contamination.
How long does turkey meat last in the fridge?
Turkey meat can last in the refrigerator for approximately 3-4 days. It is important to store the turkey meat in the coldest part of the fridge, preferably at a temperature below 40°F (4°C). Additionally, ensure the turkey meat is properly wrapped or stored in an airtight container to maintain its freshness and prevent cross-contamination with other foods.
Is bacon ok if it is grey?
No, if bacon appears grey in color, it is likely a sign of spoilage and should not be consumed. Fresh bacon typically has a pink or reddish color. Grey bacon can indicate bacterial growth or oxidation, which can lead to foodborne illnesses. It’s best to discard any bacon that has turned grey to ensure food safety.
How long does vacuum packed bacon last?
Vacuum packed bacon can last significantly longer than bacon stored in traditional packaging. When properly vacuum sealed, bacon can stay fresh for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
Turkey bacon is a leaner and healthier alternative to traditional pork bacon. By following proper storage guidelines, such as refrigerating unopened packages, storing opened slices in airtight containers, and freezing when needed, you can extend the shelf life of turkey bacon.By being mindful of these practices, you can enjoy delicious and safe turkey bacon with peace of mind.
I’m Eshé the lady behind the blog. That’s me cooking on the set of The Hairy Bikers. I LOVE food and I don’t mean I really like it. I mean my whole world revolves around it.