When shopping at the grocery store, the most common type of bacon that we see in the refrigerated section is vacuum-sealed. The vacuum sealing process along with additives helps preserve bacon for a longer time.
However, not all bacon that you can purchase has been vacuum-sealed or includes additives such as sodium nitrate. You can purchase bacon that is not vacuum sealed, which you usually find in the butcher’s section of the store.
Bacon Package Not Vacuum Sealed
Bacon that has not been vacuum-sealed has a different flavor. This type of bacon is usually a thicker cut and has a richer flavor. However, it is important to note that bacon that has not been vacuum-sealed has a shorter shelf life than its counterpart. If you have bacon that isn’t from the butcher’s block and seems to have air in the vacuum-sealed package, this is when you should not eat the bacon.
The Difference Between Vacuum Sealed Bacon and Non-Vacuum Sealed Bacon
Typically, the bacon that we see in the grocery store is vacuum-sealed, but that isn’t always the case. You can also purchase bacon that comes from the butcher’s section of the store. This bacon will have fewer preservatives and will be wrapped in butcher’s paper, rather than in a vacuum-sealed package.
If you have vacuum-sealed bacon you can safely eat it seven days after the sell-by date that is printed on the packaging. When it comes to bacon that has not been vacuum-sealed, you need to eat it within one to two weeks of purchasing. Because of the lack of additional preservatives, bacon that has not been vacuum-sealed has a shelf-life close to any other raw meat in your fridge.
Improperly Vacuum-Sealed Bacon
While non-vacuum-sealed bacon does exist, if you have bacon that should be vacuum-sealed and shows signs that it isn’t, this can put your health at risk. If you notice that your bacon package has bubbles or the packaging is opened, this is a sign that there was an error during the packaging process.
The vacuum-sealing process isn’t foolproof. Air or gas can become trapped inside the packaging. When this happens the shelf-life of your bacon significantly decreases. The best-by date on your packaging should be disregarded because, without proper preservation, that date is significantly decreased.
Bacon that has not been properly vacuum-sealed can also put you at risk for food-borne illnesses. When air or gas is trapped inside the packaging bacteria have a source to grow. Once bacteria starts to grow on your bacon it won’t be safe to eat, even after cooking. A common myth is that you can cook out any bacteria if you reach high enough temperatures.
However, pork is a meat that can carry many types of harmful bacteria that cannot be cooked out at the temperatures that are required for cooking bacon. It’s also important to check the bacon. Often, when you purchase bacon that has not been properly vacuum-sealed, it has already spoiled. While it should have a longer shelf-life, vacuum-sealing is one of the key parts of this process.
How To Tell If Bacon Has Gone Bad
Like with all foods, it is important to know when bacon has spoiled, otherwise, you put your health at risk. One of the first indicators that your bacon has gone bad is the color. Uncooked bacon should be predominantly pink in color. If it is browned, toss it. If vacuum-sealed bacon is introduced into the air it can begin the process of oxidation and spoilage.
Another good way to tell if your bacon has spoiled is the smell. While some processed bacon has flavor additives, such as maple, your bacon should typically have little to no smell. If you notice a strong odor, this is a sign that your bacon has spoiled and should be thrown out. Once the bacon has spoiled, there is no cooking temperature that can make it safe for consumption.
You can also tell that your bacon has gone bad by the texture. Like all raw meat, there is a significant amount of moisture, however, if your bacon has a slimy texture this is not normal. When bacteria begin to grow and multiply on the surface of your meat it produces this texture. When your bacon takes on this texture you may also notice a change in color, indicating the growth of mold.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bacon Package Not Vacuum Sealed
How do I know if my bacon wasn’t vacuum-sealed properly?
The vacuum-sealing process should remove all air from the packaging. If you notice that there are any bubbles or pockets of air in your bacon, this is a sign that there was an error in the vacuum-sealing process. You should also check for tears in the packaging. This can happen during production and if that is the case, your bacon is not safe.
Is it safe to eat bacon that wasn’t sealed?
Bacon that hasn’t been vacuum-sealed has a much shorter shelf-life. Bacon usually lasts about a week. If you find bacon that has not been sealed properly but has the packaging date within that time frame, it may be safe to eat. However, you should consider what bacteria has been trapped in the packaging. It’s usually best just to toss bacon that hasn’t been properly sealed.
What do bubbles in my bacon packaging mean?
The most typical cause of bubbles in your bacon packaging is trapped gases. While this may not seem like a big deal, gases can generate from micro-bacterial activity. If there are bacteria microbes present in your bacon, it is not safe for you to eat.
In Conclusion About Bacon Package Not Vacuum Sealed
Unless you are buying the bacon from the butcher’s block, vacuum-sealing is important. This process prolongs the life of your bacon and also keeps out harmful bacteria. If your bacon has not been properly sealed, you put yourself at risk for food-borne illnesses. Pork is a type of meat that, when contaminated, can produce deadly results. Unless you know when the bacon was packaged, purchasing bacon that was not properly vacuum-sealed should be avoided.