So how safe is – Bacon?

Let's have a look at how safe another food is , as well as a bit of history and whether it is good for you or not.

This time - BACON.

Safety

bacon is a potentially hazardous food (it will allow bacterial growth if not handled properly) so must be stored below 5C (41F) and held above 60C (140F).

Even though there is some heating involved generally in the making of bacon, it may only get to 50C, so is still considered to be a raw food and must be kept separate from cooked foods when displayed or in storage.

It is a processed meat containing nitrates and therefore may be linked to increased incidence of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Although it has not yet been determined if it is the food or the lifestyle of the people, that is the major factor contributing to the increased incidence of these diseases.

It has a high sodium content, mainly due to the curing process using in making it.

Carcinogens may be formed if the bacon is burnt and these can cause cancer.

Quality

There are many different types and processes used, so quality is really in the taste of the person eating it.

Some people believe that bacon should be crispy and other like it not, There are some varieties available that are nitrate free and this changes the flavour.

Bacon can be grilled, fried, roasted and BBQ.

History

  • Originally known as Bacoun in England although there were similar products being made across all of Europe at the time and also in China.
  • In England it was originally a cut from the pork belly and loin.
  • Around Europe it was originally any slice of cured / salted pork.
  • In Old High German it was called bahho.
  • In Old High Dutch it was called baken.
  • In Old High French it was balled bacun, but eventually all became Bacon.
  • First commercial bacon processing plant was opened in Wiltshire in the 1770s
  • Some breeds of pig are specifically grown for bacon production.
  • Bacon fat was collected and used to make incendiary devices in WW2.
  • The saying "To bring home the bacon", was originally recognised husbands in Dunmow, in England, who had not had an argument with their wife for a year and a day and were given a chunk of bacon as a reward. These men were held in high esteem. The saying is now used world wide and relates to income.

Nutritional Content

In a 100g serving of cooked bacon with the rind removed,

  • 37% Recommended Daily Allowance of Protein
  • 8% RDA of Selenium
  • 53% RDA of Phosphorus
  • High in Sodium
  • Contains Iron, Zinc, Magnesium, Potassium and Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12
  • Fat - 50% monounsaturated (mainly Oleic acid), 40% Saturated  and 10% Polyunsaturated (mainly Omega-6) - depending upon where and how the pig was raised.
  • Nitrates - help with preservation and red colour retention. If Vitamin C is added to the cure then any Nitrosamines are reduced.
  • salt content is high for flavour and preservation.

Good for you or not?

Like all processed foods, a little is fine every week, so we all have to overcome our desire to eat everyday the yumminess that is bacon.

 

 

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