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Detecting Bad Turkey Bacon: A Guide to Avoiding Illness

Detecting Bad Turkey Bacon: A Guide to Avoiding Illness

Breakfast food can be and is eaten at any time of the day. One of the most popular options is bacon. While pork bacon is very popular, many people love turkey bacon.

It’s lean and doesn’t have as many calories as pork bacon. Health-conscious individuals often choose turkey bacon over pork bacon as an alternative.

It’s important to eat this in moderation, just like with pork bacon. Additionally, choosing the reduced-sodium version of turkey bacon or tempeh bacon is healthier.

One of the worst things that can happen is going to the refrigerator to make breakfast and the turkey bacon looks a little suspicious. While it’s much easier to tell when pork bacon has gone bad, how can you really tell when turkey bacon isn’t good anymore?

Turkey bacon already has a different consistency than pork bacon, the tell-tale signs may be a little difficult. It’s already a little silky, which can throw you off if you aren’t used to it. There are ways to tell when turkey bacon has gone bad, though. Here are a few:

Slimy or slick

Turkey bacon feels like silk and is smooth to the touch. When it starts feeling off, that’s a clear indicator that it’s going bad or is already there.

Getting used to how turkey bacon feels may take a minute. If at any time the turkey bacon comes out of the packaging feeling slimy, take it back for a refund because it is going bad.


If it smells funny, your nose isn’t playing tricks on you – it’s time to throw it out. A good indicator that the turkey bacon has gone bad is that it starts to smell a little sour instead of its usual smell.


Turkey bacon is light pink. Any variations are tell-tale signs that something is going on. You should be aware of the color, even when purchasing at the grocery store.

It may start turning brown or grey, which is indicative of the bacon going bad. In some cases, the turkey bacon may also seem as if it is starting to mold. If it looks like that, throw it away.


If everything seems fine and you cook the turkey bacon, you’ll be able to tell if something is off. It should taste like turkey, but leaner. If the taste makes you feel bad, it’s time to throw it all out. Don’t swallow it because it can cause food poisoning.

When you purchase from the store, your “sell by” date can throw things off. Just because there is a date attached, you don’t know what went on before it was packaged.

Additionally, turkey bacon needs to be refrigerated. It should not be left out for more than two hours. If you’re driving around, give it one hour.

Turkey bacon is ultra-processed, which could pose a problem over time. This increases the likelihood of the bacon going bad if left out for longer periods of time.

If the turkey bacon is left out for over two hours, it’s not safe to eat it. It will pose a significant risk to your health and others that consume it.

Handling turkey bacon

Turkey Bacon

When handling turkey bacon, it’s important to wash your hands to make sure there aren’t any bacteria on your hands or tools.

Once you’ve touched raw turkey bacon, it’s important to clean and sanitize the area and wash with warm, soapy water.

How long does turkey bacon last in the refrigerator?

If you just purchased the turkey bacon, once you open it, you have about 7 to 14 days. Although this is based on what the manufacturer says, there may be a time when the turkey bacon doesn’t last that long.

Again, it’s always good to follow your gut. If you know you won’t be using the entire pack within that time frame, the best solution would be to freeze it, so it won’t spoil.

When storing bacon in the refrigerator, using the original packaging until opened makes sense. Once the package has been opened, transferring the turkey bacon to an airtight bag or container will help keep its shelf life.

It is also a good idea to have the turkey bacon in the coldest part of the refrigerator to ensure it is being kept at the right temperature.

If you have frozen bacon, it will last in the freezer for a few months, no more than five. If it stays in the freezer for five months, it should be put there immediately after purchasing. As a rule of thumb, plan on using frozen turkey bacon before the three-month date.

If the turkey bacon has been cooked, it should be refrigerated as soon as possible – at least within a two-hour period. This will help extend the life of the cooked bacon. Wrap it in aluminum foil or plastic wrap to make sure it is not exposed.

How long is unopened turkey bacon good for?

When you’ve purchased fresh bacon and haven’t used it within 7 to 14 days, you may have to throw it out. If you have had it in the refrigerator on the coldest setting and the package has been unopened, you may be able to have in the refrigerator up to 30 days before you must throw it out.

Each situation is different.

If you’re just opening the package after the sell-by date, it’s important to look at the consistency and smell of the turkey bacon. If the light pink color is still there and there is no smell, it may be consumable. If there are any indications that it is not in the best condition, do not eat it.

If the bacon has not been opened and the expiration date has passed, it may be safe for a day or two. Again, check all the signs that indicate it is no longer good for consumption.

The USDA says if there is a “sell by” date instead of a “use by” date, it can be kept for two weeks if unopened.

If your refrigeration methods do not work, you will start seeing signs that the turkey bacon is taking a turn for the worse.

Always take a good look at the turkey bacon before starting to cook it. Take a minute to smell it and most of all, do not ignore it when it feels slimy or like something nasty.

Can turkey bacon go bad overnight? With the right conditions in place, absolutely. Refrigeration is the best line of defense in making sure it is in good condition before you cook it.