Can I Eat This? Refrigerated, unopened raw bacon edition
October 14, 2020 9:48 PM   Subscribe

3 weeks ago, I bought a vacuum-sealed package of raw, hardwood smoked bacon, put in my fridge and proceeded to immediately forget about it. I just pulled it out. It says "Use by November 22" and does not smell (I didn't open it yet). Is this safe to eat? When I google, the Internet says that bacon does not last in the fridge for more than 1 week or so, but the package says "Nov. 22". If I open it and it doesn't smell bad, am I good?
posted by rogerroger to Food & Drink (8 answers total)
 
I am the most conservative non-eater of "can I eat this?" questions EVER, and I would trust the date on your vacuum-sealed package and not think twice. I think your google answer is referring to something more like bacon from a farm stand/deli counter/specialty butchery, not vacuum-sealed and clearly stamped.

Basically, they wouldn't stamp on that date and put hundreds/thousands of consumers at risk--that would be bad for business. I'd trust the date over the google in this instance.
posted by knotty knots at 9:53 PM on October 14, 2020 [18 favorites]


I would trust the package - I think the difference is that it is smoked, not actually raw.
posted by metahawk at 9:54 PM on October 14, 2020 [3 favorites]


I think they mean that bacon won’t last more than a week in the fridge after it has been opened. You are completely, completely fine. It’s smoked, salted, and vacuum packed, so it’s triple-preserved. Other bacon with this same “use by” date is probably still on the shelf at the store.
posted by corey flood at 9:54 PM on October 14, 2020 [32 favorites]


You are perfect; this is the definition of Use as Intended.
Just a note, without getting into the technicalities.
Think of most US grocery dates as not for you, but for the store.
It's 'Dear Grocer, take this off the shelf if not Sold by Nov 22.'
It doesn't mean 'Dear Consumer, this self-destructs on Nov 22.'

If you see a pot of yogurt with today's date on it, that means the built in 'estimate X, plus a few more days in the end consumer's fridge before being eaten' has no more cushion remaining.
posted by bartleby at 10:14 PM on October 14, 2020 [5 favorites]


Completely, completely fine. It would also very likely be fine if not opened until after Nov 22.

I'm also seriously side-eyeing that 1 week rule even after opening - do most people actually use up an entire package of bacon in a week?? It takes me many weeks to use it up, I still eat it as long as the smell doesn't change, and I've never gotten sick or had the bacon taste bad. Bacon is preserved, so why would it have the same fridge shelf-life as regular food?
posted by randomnity at 7:56 AM on October 15, 2020


Thanks, all! I will eat the bacon with no worries.
posted by rogerroger at 8:20 AM on October 15, 2020


Bacon really does taste better when its package has been open no more than a few days, at least regular commercial bacon. We eat bacon that's been open in the refrigerator for three weeks, sometimes, without ever getting sick from it, and everybody else in the family seems happy enough, but I don't find it nearly as tasty. It has a more chemical taste to me than more recently opened bacon.
posted by chromium at 10:50 AM on October 15, 2020




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