Six commercial brands of precooked canned bacon, comprising 101 cans, were examined to determine if they complied with military specifications for a moisture-to-salt (M/S) ratio (percent moisture divided by percent salt) of ⩽ 9.0. Three brands were found in compliance with expected lot average values (ELAV) for M/S ratio of 4.70, 5.58 and 6.10. Water activity ELAVs of samples from these three brands were 0.82, 0.89 and 0.91; aerobic plates counts (APCs) ranged from <100 (64%) to 1500/g. Brands not in compliance had M/S ratio ELAVs of 11.24, 12.00 and 12.83; water activity ELAVs of 0.93, 0.97 and 0.99; and APCs as high as 1.7 × 107/g.

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