Take the 2-minute tour ×
Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I bought a package of Appleton Farms, hardwood smoked, sugar cured, sliced bacon about 32 hours ago & forgot to put it in the refrigerator. The ingredients state "cured with": water, salt, sugar,sodium phosphate, sodium erythorbate and sodium nitrate. The package is still sealed. Do you think it is safe to eat?

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

I am an old timer and I am about to repeat some stories from other old timers from when I was a youth. These folks lived most of their lives without refrigeration. Curing ham and bacon was a common practice for keeping that portion of the pig. The hams and bacon hung cured in the root cellars for months (3 and 4, 5 was pushng it.) When retrieved for cooking, if there was a little spoil on the outside it was cut off down to the good meat and cooked an eaten. They all lived into their 90's. interestingly, uncured quarters of beef were handled pretty much the same way. Use the smell test both before and after cooking.

share|improve this answer
    
It was a different process than the "curing" you'll get on grocery store bacon. –  Preston Fitzgerald Jul 21 at 11:35
    
(1) The plural of anecdote is not data, a few survivors doesn't mean it's safe. (2) What you're talking about is actually basically safe, but has nothing to do with store-bought bacon and most people reading this won't have stored it in a root cellar. (3) Smell test is never valid, it's in our FAQ on this. –  Aaronut Jul 21 at 15:24

If the package is sealed I would go for it! I doubt there's been any serious bacterial growth with all the preservatives. Besides, you still have to cook it (well), which would kill any bacteria (supposing there are any). That said, the taste/quality might be modified, but nothing to be concerned about (not harmful). If it doesn't taste good, toss it.

[DISCLAIMER: I'm a Biologist and consider myself to know quite a lot about bugs. I would eat it, but do so under your own responsibility.]

share|improve this answer
3  
Other threads on here have commented that cooking meats does not always kill the toxins emitted by the bacteria growth while at room temperature, even though the bacteria itself does get killed from cooking. Is bacon somehow different in this regard? –  Jessica Brown Jul 7 '12 at 20:39
    
Indeed, the claim that you can make it safe by cooking is completely false, and I'm disappointed to see someone claiming to know a lot about bacteria espousing it. See for example this question. –  Jefromi Feb 19 at 23:24

Does the package say it needs to be kept refrigerated? Did it come from refrigerated storage at the store? If either of these is true, then you should toss it.

Bacon CAN be heavily smoked and cured for room-temperature storage, but most grocery-store bacon is not this kind. Due to the nitrates/nitrates and smoking process, normal bacon should be safe at room temperature for longer than the 2 hours we give uncured meats, but 32 hours is simply WAY TOO LONG.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.