safe to eat: expired bacon
June 25, 2017 2:11 PM   Subscribe

I have some Sugardale bacon that has been stored in the freezer until today. It's best if used by date is September 2016. I was planning to thaw it and cook it for a recipe but then wondered if it's safe to consume.
posted by MeFiMouse to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
ETA its use by date was 9 months ago
posted by MeFiMouse at 2:13 PM on June 25, 2017

If it was frozen, I would cook it and eat it in a heartbeat. My general rule of thumb is that freezing something adds about a year to the good by date. I am not an expert in food hygiene, just a guy with a practical sense and a tough stomach.
posted by AugustWest at 2:15 PM on June 25, 2017 [4 favorites]

If it was frozen promptly after being acquired and kept solid until today and thawed properly in the fridge today, I'd eat it. But I wouldn't feed it to anyone else -- even if there aren't yuckies in there, it's probably going to suck just from being frozen for so long.
posted by Night_owl at 2:15 PM on June 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

It's fine to eat.
posted by .kobayashi. at 2:17 PM on June 25, 2017

If the bacon wasn't frozen when you bought it, the use by date would be for the refrigerator only. Freezing isn't part of the calculation. You can freeze bacon for up to eight months and it should still be just about edible. I'd give the thawed bacon a sniff, and then maybe fry an inch and try it. If it smells/tastes off, don't cook with it.
posted by pipeski at 2:18 PM on June 25, 2017 [3 favorites]

I just did a similar thing, and it was fine. My bacon specifically said "use or freeze by X date", but I assume most bacon is the same.
posted by ktkt at 2:44 PM on June 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

If it was purchased chilled and then frozen immediately, I would not personally give it a second thought on health grounds, providing the freezer is constantly below -18°c/0°f. If you're confident in your freezer, then I wouldn't caution you against proceeding. If you think the freezer might be dodgy, that's a different story.

I think possibly the more pertinent point is that your recipe possibly won't turn out that nice, because meat does become a bit manky tasting after more than a few months frozen.
posted by howfar at 2:55 PM on June 25, 2017

If you thawed it properly, it is safe as the day you bought it. The USDA says frozen meat is safe indefinitely, the risk comes from how it is thawed.

Also from here:
Is Frozen Food Safe?
Food stored constantly at 0 °F will always be safe. Only the quality suffers with lengthy freezer storage. Freezing keeps food safe by slowing the movement of molecules, causing microbes to enter a dormant stage. Freezing preserves food for extended periods because it prevents the growth of microorganisms that cause both food spoilage and foodborne illness.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 4:35 PM on June 25, 2017 [4 favorites]

Just adding, you might want to factor in any power outages you've experienced within that timeframe. Unless you have a generator, of course.
posted by Amor Bellator at 4:58 PM on June 25, 2017

Also most bacon is cured so it is even safer than other frozen meats.
posted by srboisvert at 5:28 PM on June 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

It should be safe to eat, but after long freezing the texture may have suffered. Fry up a sample piece and try it.
posted by CINDERELLEN at 6:15 PM on June 25, 2017

When meat is frozen for that long, I'd worry more about freezer burn making the meat unpalatable. Freezing meat keeps it for a good long while, and I would eat it, no question as long as the texture was still okay.
posted by PearlRose at 8:27 AM on June 26, 2017

Nthing all of this; it's more likely to be freezer-burned than toxic.
posted by aspersioncast at 1:59 PM on June 26, 2017

All the bacon I've bought in the last 20 years has been vacuum packed, so freezer burn isn't an issue, either, assuming it went in the freezer unopened.
posted by Bruce H. at 3:43 PM on June 26, 2017

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