Is it safe to eat uncured bacon?

Asked By: Emerencia Santiso | Last Updated: 19th March, 2020
Category: books and literature cookbooks
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Uncured bacon is cured with salt — and lots of it. Although humans have been preserving meats by salt-curing them for ages, that doesn't mean it's good for you. The sodium content, in addition to the large amount of fat, still makes the uncured bacon health risks almost as bad as those of the cured kind.

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Considering this, is uncured meat safe to eat?

This is a bonus for the healthy eater. Because nitrites are not added, the meats are considered by the USDA to be uncured. Whether you choose cured or uncured, unless meat is sold raw, you should know that it must be preserved so that it does not spoil.

Likewise, can you eat raw uncured bacon? So yes, bacon has a longer shelf life than raw pork belly and other uncured meats. But that doesn't mean you should eat raw bacon, since cured meat can still grow bacteria if handled incorrectly. And you can get very sick from eating raw or undercooked pork.

Considering this, what is the difference between cured and uncured bacon?

Cured bacon is made by adding artificial nitrates, usually sodium nitrite, into the regular salt and brine mixture. Uncured bacon is, generally, left in a more natural, green state than cured bacon and so tastes more like the pork belly itself.

How long does uncured bacon last?

Generally, unopened bacon can last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator and up to 8 months in the freezer. Meanwhile, bacon that has been opened but not cooked may only last around 1 week in the refrigerator and up to 6 months in the freezer.

39 Related Question Answers Found

Does uncured meat need to be cooked?

Uncured salami does not need to be cooked. Curing is the process of using salt to help dry and preserve the meat. Uncured salami is sold in stores, but really it is cured because they used salt to preserve the meat.

Which bacon is healthiest?

Bacon Options (from highest to lowest in fat)
Total Calories Fat (g)
Hormel Center Cut, 4 slices 140 4
Hickory Smoked Bacon, 3 slices 120 3.8
Oscar Mayer Center Cut Naturally Smoked, 6 slices 120 3
Farmer John Premium, 3 slices 105 4.5

Why are nitrates bad for you?

Sodium nitrate, a preservative that's used in some processed meats, such as bacon, jerky and luncheon meats, could increase your heart disease risk. It's thought that sodium nitrate may damage your blood vessels, making your arteries more likely to harden and narrow, leading to heart disease.

Does bacon from a butcher have nitrates?

Yes, most "uncured" bacon is actually cured with celery (juice or powder), which is a natural source of nitrates. It is called uncured because of labeling regulations, not because it isn't cured with nitrates.

Is uncured bacon processed meat?


The truth is, uncured bacon is still cured, it's just not cured with nitrites. That's a good thing. Nitrites are a chemical substance used by manufacturers to cure processed foods. Although humans have been preserving meats by salt-curing them for ages, that doesn't mean it's good for you.

What makes bacon carcinogenic?

When nitrates interact with certain components in red meat (haem iron, amines and amides), they form N-nitroso compounds, which cause cancer. The best known of these compounds is nitrosamine. You would not know it from the way bacon is sold, but scientists have known nitrosamines are carcinogenic for a very long time.

What are uncured meats?

Meats labeled “uncured” are typically cured using natural sources, such as celery powder and sea salt, so they at least do not contain carcinogenic chemicals. But celery powder is a still a nitrite. In fact, several vegetables contain nitrites.

Do uncured meats have nitrates?

It's just that, in the “uncuredmeats, the nitrite is derived from celery or beets or some other vegetable or fruit naturally high in nitrate, which is easily converted to nitrite. In ordinary bacon and cured meats, the nitrite is in the form of man-made sodium nitrite.

What is the best bacon?

The Best Grocery Store Bacon Brands Money Can Buy
  • ? Market Pantry Hardwood Smoked Classic Cut ($5, 16 ounces)
  • ? Oscar Mayer Naturally Hardwood Smoked ($5.50, 16 ounces)
  • ? Oscar Mayer Center Cut ($5.50, 12 ounces)
  • Hormel Black Label Original ($6, 16 ounces)
  • Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon ($3.50, 12 ounces)

What is the healthiest type of bacon?


Although its taste is unbeatable, bacon is not traditionally your best choice for a protein because it's high in fat, calories, sodium and nitrates. Fear not,though, bacon lovers - there are a few healthier options out there that still taste great, too! You best bacon choice is uncured, reduced-sodium center cut bacon.

How dangerous is sodium nitrite?

The preservative sodium nitrite fights harmful bacteria in ham, salami and other processed and cured meats and also lends them their pink coloration. However, under certain conditions in the human body, nitrite can damage cells and also morph into molecules that cause cancer.

Can Bacon be healthy?

Bacon Contains a Lot of Fat
The fats in bacon are about 50% monounsaturated and a large part of those is oleic acid. This is the same fatty acid that olive oil is praised for and generally considered "heart-healthy" ( 1 ). Then about 40% is saturated fat, accompanied by a decent amount of cholesterol.

What does uncured bacon mean?

Uncured bacon is bacon that hasn't been cured with sodium nitrites. Uncured bacon has to be labeled “Uncured bacon. No nitrates or nitrites added.” However, that doesn't mean it doesn't have nitrites from naturally occurring sources.

Does turkey bacon have nitrates?

Many turkey bacon products contain chemical preservatives, including nitrates and nitrites. While naturally occurring nitrates — such as those found in fruits and vegetables — are good for your health, synthetic nitrates and nitrites are not ( 6 ).

What is an uncured ham?


Uncured ham is also called fresh ham. It's the same cut as cured, but not embellished with any of the brine and smoke or other flavorings the more common city hams and gourmet country hams. And with uncured hams you won't get any of the nitrites or nitrates used in many cured hams – a controversial addition for some.

What part of the pig is bacon?

Bacon is a type of salt-cured pork. Bacon is prepared from several different cuts of meat, typically from the pork belly or from back cuts, which have less fat than the belly.

Can you buy bacon without nitrates?

These products use “natural” sources of the same chemical like celery and beet juice and sea salt, and are no more free from nitrates and nitrites than standard cured meats. In fact, they may even contain more nitrates and nitrites when cured using “natural” preservatives. No reason to buy nitrate-free, uncured bacon.