Does turkey bacon go bad in the fridge?

Quick answer

Yes, turkey bacon can go bad in the fridge like any other perishable food. Properly stored, turkey bacon will usually last 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator. To maximize freshness, store unopened turkey bacon in the original packaging until ready to use. Once opened, rewrap tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Check for signs of spoilage before eating, such as an off smell, slimy texture, or discoloration. Discard if turkey bacon smells bad or feels slimy.

How can you tell if turkey bacon is bad?

There are a few clear signs that indicate spoiled turkey bacon:

  • Slimy texture – Fresh turkey bacon should feel firm to the touch. If it feels unusually soft, wet or slimy, it has spoiled.
  • Off smell – Turkey bacon gives off a distinct meaty, savory aroma when fresh. If it smells sour, ammonia-like or unpleasant, it has gone bad.
  • Discoloration – The turkey bacon slices should look pink or light reddish-brown when fresh. Grayish, greenish or blackish hues indicate spoilage.
  • Mold growth – You may see fuzzy mold growing on the surface of spoiled turkey bacon.

Trust your senses. If turkey bacon doesn’t look, smell or feel right, it’s best to throw it out. Don’t taste turkey bacon to determine if it’s gone bad – consuming spoiled meat can cause food poisoning.

How long does turkey bacon last in the fridge?

With proper storage, turkey bacon will keep in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks after opening the package. An unopened pack of turkey bacon will keep in the fridge for several weeks past the sell-by date printed on the packaging.

The exact shelf life depends on factors like the sell-by date, storage temperature, and how well it’s wrapped. Turkey bacon lasts longer if stored toward the back of the fridge, where temperatures are colder. Freshness also depends on whether the bacon was previously frozen or not.

For best quality, use turkey bacon within 1 week of opening. Older bacon may still be safe to eat, but the texture and flavor will progressively decline. Always rely on your senses, not just the date. If it smells or looks off, throw it out.

Does turkey bacon need to be refrigerated?

Yes, you should always refrigerate uncooked turkey bacon. Like raw meat and poultry, raw turkey bacon is highly perishable and prone to bacterial growth if left at room temperature too long.

Keep turkey bacon stored below 40°F at all times for safety. Do not leave turkey bacon sitting out on the counter or neglect to promptly refrigerate leftovers after cooking.

Refrigeration slows the growth of harmful bacteria. While cured meats like turkey bacon are less susceptible to spoilage than other types of raw meat, they still require refrigeration for optimal freshness and to prevent foodborne illness.

Can you freeze turkey bacon?

Yes, freezing is a great way to extend the shelf life of turkey bacon if you can’t use it all right away. Properly frozen, turkey bacon will keep for 2 to 3 months in the freezer.

To freeze turkey bacon:

  1. Wrap uncooked turkey bacon tightly in plastic wrap or place slices in a freezer bag removing as much air as possible.
  2. Label package with contents and freeze-by date.
  3. Freeze turkey bacon for up to 2-3 months at 0°F or below.
  4. Avoid freezing previously frozen and thawed turkey bacon again.

For best texture, use frozen turkey bacon within 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before cooking. Cook thawed turkey bacon immediately rather than refreezing.

What are signs of spoiled turkey bacon?

Look for these signs that indicate your turkey bacon has gone bad:

  • Slimy texture – Fresh turkey bacon has a firm, meaty texture. If it feels excessively soft or slippery, it’s spoiled.
  • Grey color – Uncooked turkey bacon is pink or reddish-brown when fresh. Grey, green or black discoloration is a sign of spoilage.
  • Off smell – Turkey bacon gives off a subtle meat and smoke aroma when good. If it smells sour or unpleasant, toss it.
  • Mold – Mold growth, usually greenish or white fuzz, is a tell-tale sign your turkey bacon has spoiled.

Trust your senses – spoiled turkey bacon will look, smell and feel bad long before the use-by date. When in doubt, throw it out. Consuming rancid turkey bacon could make you sick.

How to store turkey bacon properly?

Storing turkey bacon correctly helps maximize freshness and shelf life. Follow these tips for proper storage:

  • Keep unopened turkey bacon in original store packaging until ready to use.
  • After opening, rewrap turkey bacon tightly in plastic wrap or foil.
  • Store opened packages toward the back of the fridge, not the door.
  • Use an airtight container if storing for more than a few days.
  • Don’t overcrowd the fridge – air circulation helps maintain cooling.
  • Use turkey bacon within 1 week of opening for best quality.

Proper refrigeration at 40°F or below prevents bacterial growth. Wrap turkey bacon well to prevent drying out, freezer burn or absorption of odors from other foods. Keep fridge clean and organized for optimal temperature control.

How long can you keep cooked turkey bacon in the fridge?

Cooked turkey bacon will keep for 3 to 5 days when properly stored in the refrigerator. Place cooled, cooked turkey bacon slices or strips in an airtight container. Ensure the container is completely sealed to prevent drying out.

Store cooked turkey bacon toward the back of the fridge, not on the door where temperatures fluctuate. Use within 3 days for the best texture and flavor. Cooked bacon may still be safe up to 5 days later but may taste stale.

The high salt content of cured turkey bacon allows it to keep slightly longer than other cooked meats. Always rely on your senses. If cooked bacon smells, tastes or appears off, err on the side of caution and throw it away. Don’t take risks with foodborne illness.

Can you eat turkey bacon after the expiration date?

It’s not recommended to eat turkey bacon past the expiration or use-by date printed on the packaging. This date indicates the last day the manufacturer vouches for peak quality and safety.

However, the expiration date is not always a hard and fast rule. Turkey bacon may still be safe to eat for a short time after the printed date, provided it was stored properly at 40°F or below. The shelf life depends on factors like packaging and temperature exposure.

Use your best judgment based on smell, appearance and texture. Uncooked turkey bacon 1-2 weeks past its date may still be fine if it looks and smells normal. However, consume with caution. Discard if you detect any signs of spoilage like off-colors, sour smell or slimy texture. Don’t take risks with foodborne pathogens. When in doubt, throw it out.

Can expired turkey bacon make you sick?

Yes, eating spoiled, expired turkey bacon could potentially make you sick. Turkey bacon can harbor bacteria like salmonella, listeria, E. coli and other pathogens that can cause foodborne illness.

Food poisoning symptoms may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps and diarrhea
  • Fever and chills
  • Headache
  • Fatigue and body aches

Symptoms can start anywhere from 1 hour to 1 week after ingesting bad turkey bacon. The effects range from mild to severe based on factors like your health, the pathogen, and amount consumed. Pay close attention to expiration or use-by dates and discard turkey bacon that shows any signs of spoilage like off-smells, slimy texture or discoloration. Don’t risk getting sick – when in doubt, throw it out.


Turkey bacon can go bad in the refrigerator like any perishable meat. Properly stored, it will keep 1-2 weeks past the printed date if it looks and smells normal. Check for sliminess, graying, or off odors before eating. Turkey bacon can also be frozen for 2-3 months to extend the shelf life. Keep turkey bacon refrigerated at all times, wrap tightly, and follow use-by dates for food safety. Discard promptly if you see any mold, smell spoilage, or the texture seems off. Consuming expired, spoiled turkey bacon poses a risk of foodborne illness, so it’s better to be safe than sorry when on the fence about old turkey bacon in the fridge.

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