Who does not love the smell of bacon wafting through the house on a cold winter morning?
The smell of it cooking will arouse you and make you want to jump from underneath the covers and follow your nose to the breakfast table.
In days of yore, bacon was a staple on every country breakfast table because pork was so cheap. Many families existed on chicken and pork because they raised it themselves - right out there in the nearby yard. They knew exactly how fresh it was or was not.
Later butcher chops cut the bacon, and they had a pretty clear idea how fresh it was. Today food/meats come from all parts of the country and even other nations. Consumers are at the mercy of everyone down the food chain who handles it from once place to another. We can never be too sure how it was handled and preserved along the way.
Ground meat has been a culprit of many recalls and a danger to families in recent times. Bacon is likely to spoil more quickly than any other meat product. It is extremely important to keep watch over what you buy, how you store it, and how you prepare and serve it.
Today, pound for pound, bacon is one of the most expensive foods/meats you can purchase. Buying cheaper brands are often unsatisfactory, and name brands cost you your first born.
Brand name bacon is costing anywhere from $5 to $7 dollars a pound. Then you have to be careful that it is not just a twelve ounce package rather than a full pound.
While a lot of folks lived late into their 80’s and 90’s in days of yore, they worked off what they ate by hard labor. Many times, bacon grease was saved to cook other foods in – like fried chicken. Bacon grease also lends a pleasant flavor to cornbread. Home-made thickened gravy is just not the same unless cooked in bacon or sausage drippings.
Today eating high fat foods are not recommended since the discovery of cholesterol and what it does to the human body. However, who can live a life without a little bacon in it - every now and then?
Purchasing bacon and keeping it edible has become a science - which must be learned by those who are in charge of the family meals.
At such a high price, you do not want to have to throw it out. However, sometimes it is safer and costs less than your co-pay at the doctor’s office – and who wants those dreadful diseases caused by contaminated foods?
If recently purchased and stored properly, most grocers will take it back and refund your money. Call before you go and ask to speak the meat manager. Let him know of your concern so that he can take all other packages out of the showcase to prevent others from becoming ill. Always go the extra mile to be a good neighbor.
Check out this site as it gives sound advice about bacon in general. It can also help you decide whether or not it is safe for your family to eat.
The list below gives the titles - check with the web site for details.
Judging your bacon
· Check the expiration date
· Smell the bacon
· Take a close look at the bacon in a good light
· Feel the bacon
· If bad, throw the bacon out properly
Shopping for bacon:
· Wait to pick up your bacon until just before you check out.
· Never leave it in the car any longer than necessary from the grocer to your fridge.
· Look for bacon with just a few ingredients
· Don’t fall for “no nitrates” added label
· Cheaper is not always better – some bacon turns to fat more easily and produces less bacon to eat
· Freeze the bacon for long term storage
· Cook the bacon and then freeze it
· Monitor frozen bacon
Bacon does not have to be just for breakfast anymore. A nice bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich is a delicious lunch treat. Bacon added to other dishes, such as baked beans, helps to bring out the flavors of all the ingredients.
Staphylococcus aureus is a common source of food poisoning because it isn't deterred by salty, cured meats, leading some people to a false sense of security thinking that the salt makes the food safe.
Check this site for more information on how long to keep bacon in the fridge or freezer.
Good rules for food safety:
“When in doubt – throw it out!”
“Better safe than sorry!”