The challenging thing about using turkey bacon is being able to understand the differences between that and real bacon.
The look and texture is not quite the same and neither is the shelf life when you purchase them. You have to be very careful to understand when the bacon is no longer good.
How do you tell if turkey bacon is bad? Raw turkey bacon is good for 7-14 days in the fridge after being opened. If your turkey bacon is turning brown or grey in color, has a bad smell to it, or feels slimy or sticky, it has gone bad and you should dispose of it immediately.
In this guide, we will walk you through tips for understanding when your turkey bacon has well and truly shuffled off this mortal coil.
We will share with you a general understanding of how long turkey bacon lasts and even share a few tips for making it last as long as possible if you are concerned you won’t be able to cook it all up in time.
Has Your Turkey Bacon Gone Bad?
Turkey bacon makes an ideal solution if you want bacon with a healthier twist.
A lot of people turn to turkey bacon because it still gives you the ability to enjoy bacon but it is not as high in fat or even grease content and much better for people watching their cholesterol.
But if it’s so different in its nutrition content, is it also different when it comes to safe storage and signs of spoilage?
Generally speaking, turkey bacon is only good for up to 7-14 days after the sell-by date.
We always recommend erring on the side of caution and sticking with the 7-day guideline, but this doesn’t always give you a lot of time to work with it before you have to start worrying about whether or not your turkey bacon is going bad.
There are 3 primary ways to tell if turkey bacon is bad, apart from checking the dates. These include checking the bacon’s appearance, smell, and texture.
These are the classic tests for most items and understanding whether or not they have gone bad. Of course, you could always taste turkey bacon that may be bad as well, but we strongly advise against that because . . . well, ew.
As we progress through this guide, we will touch on each of these topics and let you know just what to be watching for to understand whether the turkey bacon is bad or whether you can still use it.
Later in the guide, we will also talk about some storage solutions that might just help you out.
Let’s start with the appearance factor. Sometimes, you can visibly see right away that turkey bacon is bad and you can just toss it.
This might prevent you from having to take a sniff or touch it. Of course, you can still use those methods in combination with taking a good look if you aren’t quite sure.
Turkey bacon naturally has a pink color to it. It’s a natural looking pink that isn’t overly bright or pale. You can see this when you purchase the bacon. The only difference from the pink color iis the white-yellow of the fat.
Now, as bacon goes bad, it is likely to change colors from that initial, natural pink tone. Turkey bacon that goes bad often turns a brown or gray color.
The change may happen slowly, but if you’re noticing these hints of color, it’s most likely bad.
In addition, sometimes those brown or gray tones are accented with blue or even green. If you see any of these, the turkey bacon is most definitely growing mold and had spoiled. Do not consume it.
A lot of times, these colors are more likely to appear when the turkey bacon has been exposed to air, but it could show even in an unopened package due to the moist environment inside.
If you think your bacon has a brown or gray tint but you aren’t really sure if it is spoiled or not, you can proceed with a smell or touch test for added safety.
The next check that you can do for your turkey bacon is to smell it. The smell will probably be a pretty easy indicator to determine if turkey bacon is bad.
When turkey bacon is fresh, it will have its own distinct smell but still smell like fresh, raw meat. If you know what that smells like, you know.
Even those who aren’t familiar with how fresh meat should smell are sure to be put-off by the terrible smell of bad meat.
When turkey bacon goes bad, it takes on a very rancid or sour smell. You can often recognize signs of spoilage with whiffs of things like sour smells, fishy smells, or just a rotten smell in general.
We know this is a basic description of what to expect for the smell, but the rotten smell will be very noticeable and we’re sure you won’t need a more detailed description after it slaps you in the face.
The final way to check your turkey bacon is through the sense of touch. This is a pretty simple way to tell if turkey bacon has gone bad because the touch and feel will change significantly as it spoils.
When turkey bacon is fresh and good, it typically feels soft with a slight hint of moistness. The softness is a tad bit squishy because it is fresh meat, but it won’t be slimy or gooey to the touch.
Just soft, slightly squishy, and tender with maybe some minor thin moisture that seems water-like.
When turkey bacon spoils, it develops lactic acid bacteria. That bacteria will cause the turkey bacon to be a little bit slimy, maybe even a lot slimy.
Spoiled turkey bacon will develop a layer of slimy or even gooey texture that will be almost sticky. It will have a definitive slimy texture to it that will be very unappetizing.
If you see the slimy texture or anything that looks gooey, you should not eat the turkey bacon. You’ll need to toss it out, as it is absolutely spoiled.
Tips for Maintaining Turkey Bacon
Turkey bacon just really doesn’t have all that long of a shelf life.
There are certainly some things that you can do to help it last longer, but ultimately, you should be prepared to use your turkey bacon within a reasonable timeframe to avoid it going bad.
Keep in mind that there is a sell-by date on your packaging when you purchase turkey bacon and your turkey bacon will most likely not last any more than 7 days beyond that date. It must be moved quickly.
We do have a couple of small tips to share with you in regard to preserving turkey bacon as long as possible.
Check these tips out:
- Keep the turkey bacon in an unopened and sealed package until you are ready to use it. If the turkey bacon gets opened, it could be negatively affected by coming into contact with air.
- If you open your turkey bacon and do not use the whole package, be sure to store any remaining pieces in an airtight bag. You can use a sealing storage bag, an airtight container, or perhaps even some quality plastic wrap.
- Don’t attempt to store turkey bacon in the fridge for more than 14 days.
- If you need to, you can freeze turkey bacon and store it in the freezer for several months. You just need to be sure it’s not spoiled when it goes into the freezer and make sure you freeze it in something airtight to preserve it.
Turkey bacon can be used for just about anything you might use bacon for. If you’re looking for ways to use it so you can get it all used up before it potentially spoils, check out some of these options.
Here are some great ways to use turkey bacon:
- Pizza topping
- Salad topping
- Mixed into chicken alfredo or pasta
- Bacon-wrapped chicken
- Added to macaroni and cheese
- Topping burgers or sandwiches
- Mixed into casseroles
- Served with breakfast
- Mixed with steamed vegetables
- Bacon jalapeno poppers
Really, your options are endless. You can either use full strips of bacon or even dice it up into small pieces and toss it into something you’re making.
We hope you find this guide to understanding when turkey bacon is bad to be helpful and informative. Check out these topics for some additional information.
How Long Is Turkey Bacon Good for?
Turkey bacon can be good for up to 7-14 days after the printed sell-by date. We recommend playing it safe and sticking to the 7-day mark.
Will Turkey Bacon Go Bad in the Freezer?
If it is not spoiled when you freeze it, it shouldn’t go bad in the freezer until after 6 months. Your quality might degrade or it could get freezer burn in the meantime, however.
If Turkey Bacon Looks Slimy Is It Bad?
If the meat is slimy, this is a clear indicator it is most likely spoiled. Don’t mistake a bit of moisture for sliminess though. If it’s simply moist or maybe wet, it might still be good. Slime is thicker and stickier than simple moisture.