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Whenever you buy a pack of sausages, there always seems to be a few too many for you to eat in one go. Sometimes this is not an issue and you can happily fit them in, but other times you go to store them and use them later on. So, how long can you wait until you have to use the sausages?
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What Is An Italian Sausage?
An Italian sausage, as it is known in America, is a pork sausage that has been seasoned with fennel and other seasonings. This is the biggest difference between normal and Italian sausages, although, in supermarkets, you can find different Italian sausages that vary in spice levels. The less spicy ones will have sweet basil as a seasoning while the spicy ones will have hot red pepper flakes added.
If you were to go to Italy, an Italian sausage would not be a specific thing as there would be multiple varieties, all with different names. The name ‘Italian sausage’ is more of a generic title used in the US to easily identify this one product. Other than the spices and herbs they are stuffed with, Italian sausages are not too different from your standard run-of-the-mill sausage. They are ground pork meat in a casing, the only addition is the herbs and spices such as fennel. The sausage casings can be either artificial and made from collagen and cellulose or can be naturally made from animal intestines or skin.
Storing Italian Sausage
You can buy sausage in a few different ways but the most common ways are either normal sausages in a pack, or you can buy a longer version of the sausage for cutting slices off. All storage methods work for both of these, although the bigger sausage may need to be cut into portions to ensure it can fit wherever you want to store it.
Storing Italian Sausage In The Fridge
Both cooked sausages and uncooked fresh sausage can be stored inside of the fridge, but for different lengths of time and both need to be prepared differently before being stored. Pre-cooked sausages such as hot dogs can be stored the same as cooked sausage.
Pork sausage is the most common type of sausage and is also rather dangerous as it is raw meat. If you have a raw sausage that you want to store, you will need to wrap it in plastic wrap before storing it in the fridge. Additionally, you could also choose to put the wrapped sausage in an airtight container for extra protection.
Cooked sausages are less dangerous when stored, although they still need some preparation beforehand. After cooking, allow your sausage to rest until it is at room temperature. It is important you do not leave it for more than two hours as this is long enough for spoilage bacteria to grow and breed which can lead to food poisoning. Once at room temperature, you can place it in an airtight container so that it is properly stored for when you want it.
Raw sausages can be cooked straight away after taking them out of the fridge but it is best to let them get to room temperature first so they are fresher. Cooked sausages can also be eaten straight away after being taken out of the fridge. A raw sausage made from pork can only be stored for 1-2 days before it is going to be a bad sausage. Cooked sausage can last 4-5 days in the fridge before it is time to throw them away.
Storing Italian Sausage In The Freezer
If you don’t see yourself eating the sausage within the next week, then your best chance to avoid waste is to freeze it. Freezing raw sausage is very easy and requires you to just cover it in plastic wrap and place it in an airtight container before storage. Freezing a cooked sausage is also easy but you must wait until it is room temperature before storing it. It is also best to gently wipe any excess grease or fat off of it and then place your dry sausage in a freezer bag or plastic wrap. If you are placing it in a bag, try and squeeze as much excess air out as possible and then place it in an airtight container. This will help prevent freezer burn, which can be a serious downer when you are looking forward to eating something. Freezing your raw or cooked sausage will give it a shelf life of 3 months before it is recommended against still eating it.
How To Thaw Italian Sausage
The best way to thaw Italian sausage that has been frozen is to leave it in the fridge overnight or for 24 hours. If you are thawing a raw sausage, it is important to still keep it in a bag or plastic wrap to avoid the spread of pathogenic bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Thawing a cooked sausage can be done the same way, and will be ready to eat after it has thawed. It is not advised to freeze a cooked sausage a second time, however, once your raw sausage has been cooked you can freeze it again if you need or want to.
How To Know If A Sausage is Bad
If you are trying to remain safe and avoid eating a bad sausage at all costs. then there are a few ways you can check to see if the sausage has gone bad or not. One of the best ways to identify this is to see if the sausage has a sour smell. This is most common in food where bacteria have started to grow. If your sausage smells off at all, it is best to throw it away. An off-smell is an instant warning that the sausage has bred bacteria on or in it. This can also happen on hard or dry sausage so it is best to just throw it away. Your sausage may have a slimy texture but this is normal as it is fat and grease from the sausage. The color of the sausage can also indicate if it is healthy or not, and will also indicate if it is cooked properly. If there is any mold on your sausage at all it is also important to throw it away.