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The shelf life of sausages can be rather unpredictable for the most part. This is because the shelf life will vary depending on what type of sausage you have stored. Sausages are amazing for every meal of the day and can be eaten at any time, it’s part of why they are so popular. However, it can be really easy to cook too many and have some left over. So how long do you have until the sausages are no longer good to eat? The shelf life of sausages and warning signs that they may have gone bad are all explained down below.
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The Shelf Lives of Different Types of Sausages
Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer that says how long a sausage can be stored in the fridge. This is because there are many different types of sausages in the world, and some of them are made or prepared differently and have a longer shelf life as a result of this. You really want to make sure you do not store them for longer than you’re meant to, as pork can lead to food poisoning, which can be very bad for you.
There is little better than a lovely full English fry-up when it comes to the first meal of the day. And for this, you need breakfast sausages. These pork sausages are delicious and can be very versatile in the kitchen. However, it can be very easy to underestimate how filling these sausages are. Any leftover sausages can be easily stored in the fridge and eaten in a sandwich or on their own the next day.
If stored properly in the fridge, these sausages will last for up to five days. They should be cooled and then placed in the fridge within two hours as the sausages create the perfect breeding ground for harmful bacteria while at room temperature. Once in the fridge, you may notice white stuff with a slimy texture forming on the sausage. This is just congealed fat and is not something to worry about.
Uncooked Fresh Sausage
Fresh sausages are notoriously bad for storing in a fridge. This is because they only last for up to three days. These sausages should be treated similarly to any other perishable good and should not be unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours. If this happens, the fresh sausages are significantly less fresh and should be discarded. No one wants to eat bad sausage, so make sure you put them in the fridge before they are left on the side for too long.
Similar to uncooked fresh sausages, a raw sausage is very likely to spoil within a matter of days if not stored properly. This is because uncooked meat is very prone to harmful bacteria infecting it and causing food poisoning. A raw sausage should be stored in the fridge at all times except when being cooked.
If left at room temperature for more than two hours, there will be a lot of harmful bacteria breeding on the sausage, so it is best to throw it away. If you will not eat the sausage within the next three days, it would be best to freeze it. To prevent freezer burn, wrap your sausage in plastic wrap and suck out the air if possible. While you do not need to have a vacuum-sealed sausage in the freezer, less air will result in a lower chance of freezer burn.
After being frozen, only thaw the sausage once and do not freeze it again. If constantly frozen and unfrozen, the quality will decrease and will make the sausage bad.
Like a lot of other heavily-processed food, a pre-cooked sausage such as a hot dog can last a bit longer before it will start to become a health issue. These sausages are already cooked and will also have a lot of additives and preservatives that help them last a lot longer on a shelf. This is why, except for being submerged in brine, hot dogs can survive at room temperature in an airtight mason jar for a long time.
Unlike uncooked sausages, these ones have already been cooked and just need to be heated up, which is why they pose significantly less of a risk if they are to be stored for longer. The meat will go bad a lot slower if already cooked, whereas if the meat was raw, it would spoil quite quickly.
These pre-cooked sausages can last up to two weeks in the container once opened, although the USDA FSIS argues that they should be eaten within a week.
Dried sausages such as chorizo and pepperoni are a lot easier to store. This is because they are already cooked but have also been cured. If you have gotten them whole and there is no exposed meat, you can store them in a pantry for up to six weeks without the need to refrigerate them.
If you do insist on placing the sausages in the fridge, they will last indefinitely until they are opened, at which point they will only last three weeks. The majority of dried sausages are cooked and cured; however, there are some exceptions where they may be raw still. Read the label, and as long as the label says they are cooked and cured and that the packaging is intact, you do not have to store them in the fridge or freezer at all.
How To Tell if Sausages Have Gone Bad
A spoiled sausage is not like eating some stale bread, it is not just unpleasant to eat, but it can be potentially life-threatening. 48 million Americans get food poisoning every year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among these, 48 million, 100 thousand them get hospitalized, and 3000 of them sadly died.
This means that food safety is of utmost importance and always should be. Home cooking is not just about making food that tastes nice but also about being healthy and understanding what foods you can and can’t eat and when you should not eat them.
Raw sausages can harbor pathogenic bacteria that make you feel sick when they are spoiled after being left out for too long. The best way to tell if sausage is gone off or not is to utilize 3 of your five senses. Firstly, smell the sausage. If there is even the slightest sour smell, then the sausage is bad and should be thrown away. In this case, the smell is created by a buildup of bacteria that is breeding on the sausage. If there is any unpleasant smell, that is bacteria, and it has ruined the sausage.
The next way to tell is to look at the sausage. Any discoloration should be immediately noticeable as it will be either grey or green. This is visible mold and is another sign of bacteria buildup. Other than this, you can also touch the sausage and see if they feel right. If the sausage is slimy and rigid, it is most likely spoiled. A sausage is naturally a slight bit tacky but mostly pliable.
FAQs On Bad Sausages
Do sausages go bad in the fridge?
Even being stored in the fridge, a sausage will still eventually go bad. It will last varying amounts of time depending on what type of sausage it is. A fresh uncooked sausage only has up to three days before it goes bad.
How long is packaged sausage good for in the fridge?
Packaged sausage is good for up to three days if they are raw pork sausages. If they are dried sausages that are packaged, they will last indefinitely as long as the packaging is not broken.
How do you know if sausage is still good?
The easiest way to tell is to smell the sausages and see if there is a sour scent. The other ways to tell are to inspect the sausage for any discoloration or to see if it feels rigid.
Is sausage good after 5 days?
Sausages stored in the fridge can be good after five days as long as they were cooked before being stored. Anything after this, though, can be a bit of a gamble.