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People are just finding out why their bacon sometimes goes green

People are just finding out why their bacon sometimes goes green

Have you ever noticed a greenish hue on your raw bacon?

Have you ever opened a pack of bacon and noticed it has a strange, green-blue colour?

Almost like an iridescent sheen?

It might have you rushing to the bin to chuck it out, fearing the bacon could be off, but actually, there's a very good reason for this green hue.

Have you ever noticed green bacon? (Getty Stock Photo)
Have you ever noticed green bacon? (Getty Stock Photo)

Asking the internet for advice after encountering a pack of green bacon, one person wrote on Reddit: "I opened it this morning, and the bacon looks kind of green.

"But only from a certain angle, almost like it's iridescent! From the left, it looks regular pinkish red, meat colour. But then I lean to the right, and it has this green shine."

Well, as other Redditors pointed out, the hue is all to do with the preservation process.

You might have noticed that bacon always has a pretty long shelf-life. This is because of the way it's cured, using lots of salt and a chemical called nitrate.

According to pork butchers Tender Belly, there are two types of curing.

Dry curing is the traditional method, which involves rubbing the pork with salt, seasonings and nitrates.

It's then left to cure for a week, before being rinsed off and usually placed in a smoker or left to dry in an oven.

The other method is wet curing.

"Because wet curing is much faster than dry curing, it's become the preferred method for many large commercial brands," they explain.

"Most bacon today is cured through wet curing. Curing ingredients like salt, sugar, seasonings, sodium nitrate and other chemicals are mixed to create a brine that the bacon is soaked in or injected with."

There are different ways of curing bacon (Getty Stock Photo)
There are different ways of curing bacon (Getty Stock Photo)

The green hue you can often see on your bacon is formed thanks to a chemical reaction between the nitrates used to cure the bacon and a protein called myoglobin, found in the pork.

Of course, it's worth noting the difference between the normal green hue and what bacon actually looks like if it has gone off.

According to Healthline, bacon that's unsuitable to eat will have a sour smell, change in colour and have a slimy feel.

"Paying close attention to the smell, texture, and appearance of your bacon can help indicate whether it’s still fresh," they explain.

"When spoiled, the signature red hue of your bacon may start to become dull and fade into a grey, brown, or greenish colour.

"Spoiled bacon may also be slimy or sticky rather than soft and moist.

"Bacon that has a sour smell or rotting odour should also be thrown out, as this is another sign of spoilage."

Featured Image Credit: Reddit/WillardWhy Getty Stock Images

Topics: Food And Drink