Sausages are an anytime food that is eaten all over the world. They have become a popular staple food for many people, and for a good reason, sausages are delicious. But with everyone eating more and more sausages, we should all have the skill to tell when they have spoiled or not to ensure our safety. So, how do you tell if sausage is spoiled?
If sausage is spoiled, it will give off a terrible odor, and it will have started to turn green or even begun to grow mold. If your sausages have started to turn brown, then you need to cook them immediately as they are beginning to spoil but should still be okay to eat.
Eating spoiled sausage is never a good experience, so knowing the signs of when to throw them away is essential. But what can you expect if you eat a spoiled sausage? How can you correctly store different sausages to help them last longer? Let us find out.
Signs a Sausage Is Spoiled
A good way to tell if your sausages have spoiled is to use your senses. You should smell and observe the sausages and see if you spot anything out of the usual for your sausages.
The first indication that you will have if your sausages have spoiled is the smell they will give off. Your sausages will start to smell bad if they are spoiled; remember that the meat should not smell like anything except for the herbs they have in them.
If your sausages do not have a smell, but you are still unsure if they are acceptable to be consumed, then you can observe your sausages in detail. If your sausages are turning green or have mold on them, they are not safe to eat and should be thrown out.
Do not leave your sausages out at room temperature for more than two hours, as bacteria in the sausages will multiply rapidly in these conditions and cause the sausages to be inedible, so they will need to be thrown out even if they still look fine.
Is a Brown Colored Sausage Spoiled?
A sausage that is going brown is a sign that the sausage is beginning to go bad, but it is not necessarily bad just yet. This discoloration in the sausages is most likely a result of the meat coming into contact with oxygen.
When this occurs, it means that the meat of the sausage is beginning to dry out, but this does not imply that the sausages are not safe to consume, although the taste of these sausages may not be as good as you expect.
When the sausages are kept in the stores, the meat is often made to look redder than it is to enhance its look for customers. The stores have used this marketing technique for decades, but it can also help you find the freshest meats.
You need to remember that muscle tissue is not red, but it turns red after being exposed to oxygen, just like blood. Natural meat can be grey or brown, or red, depending on the oxidization level it has.
Good meat and meat that is not heavily processed will turn grey or brown. So, when your sausages have been sitting in the fridge for a few days, then they have been there for a bit too long, and you should cook them immediately as they are beginning to spoil.
Is a Slimy Sausage Spoiled?
Sometimes when sausages have been left in the fridge for a longer time than expected, they can begin to get slimy. Two things can cause this slimy sausage; the casing used for the sausage or the meat spoiling.
Sausages are cased with one of two different types of casings, one is natural, and the other is artificial. If your sausage has a natural casing and you notice that it is slimy, this does not necessarily mean that the meat itself is spoiled.
Natural sausage casings tend to be slimmer and softer than artificial casings, but this does not mean that they cannot spoil, so you still need to watch out for the signs of spoiling we mentioned above.
A slimy sausage can mean that the sausage is spoiled if you have left the sausage in storage for an extended time. If the sausages were not slimy, but now it is, then you should defiantly throw the sausages away.
How to Store Raw Sausage
Storing raw sausage can be a challenging task for many people, but it is vital to get it right so that the sausages stay as fresh as possible to allow you the time to cook and eat them when you can. How you store your sausages will depend on the sausages that you have brought.
There are two ways that you can store fresh sausages; in the fridge or the freezer. The option you should choose will be determined by when you will cook and eat the sausages.
If you want to cook and eat the sausages within the next few days, then the fridge will be the better option. But you need to cook the sausages as planned as raw sausages will only last in the refrigerator for two, maybe three days, depending on the sausages you brought.
For Example, Italian sausages or breakfast links will only last up to two days in the fridge, whereas beef sausages can last three days in the refrigerator. This is why you need to check the sausage’s expiry date when you buy them, as this will also impact when they need to be cooked if kept in the fridge.
If you do not plan to cook the sausages by the expiry date, you should store them in the freezer. Raw sausages can be stored in the freezer for two months before you need to worry about them.
If you want to store your sausages in the freezer, then the best way to do this is to keep the sausages in their original packaging and wrap them with heavy-duty aluminum foil to help protect them from freezer burn.
How to Store Cooked Sausage
Storing cooked sausage is where most people go wrong as they think because the sausage is cooked, it can be left in certain conditions longer than when it was raw. This, however, is not necessarily the case.
Cooked sausages need to be treated with the same caution as raw sausages as they can still spoil quickly and harbor harmful bacteria that can cause serious harm to your digestive system or worse. Suppose cooked sausages are not cooked properly or are stored for longer than they should be. In that case, you may come into contact with harmful bacteria like E. coli, listeria, salmonella, or yersinia.
These bacteria can be extremely harmful to humans. They can even cause death in certain cases, so following the storage instructions and closely watching the expiry date if you are buying pre-cooked sausage products is essential.
If you are not buying pre-cooked products, but you need to store sausage products that you have cooked yourself, you need to store them properly. If you want to store your cooked sausage products in the fridge, then place them in an air-tight container.
These cooked sausage products will last about three to four days in the fridge before you need to throw them away. If you wish to store your cooked sausage products in the freezer, place them into an air-tight container and place them in the freezer, away from the freezer walls.
This will help reduce the possibility of them getting freezer burn while they are in storage. Cooked sausage products that are stored in the freezer will last about two months before you need to throw them out.
How to Store Dry-Cured Sausage
Most people think that you need to store dry-cured sausages the same way you do regular sausages, but you really do not need to. Depending on how the dry-cured sausages were made, their storage life will vary, but they do tend to last longer than regular sausages.
Dry-curd sausages are the extreme Example of how long sausages can last if they are kept in the most suitable conditions. Dry-curd sausages are fermented and dried out to make them highly inhospitable to nasty bacteria and bugs to try and live and breed in.
This makes certain dry-cured sausages shelf-stable, meaning that they can be stored on a shelf without being refrigerated for them to stay edible. But some dry-cured sausages do require refrigeration, but they will last almost indefinitely in the fridge if they are unopened.
Once these dry-cured sausages are opened, they are susceptible to various microorganisms that can interfere with the sausages’ storage time. If you open these sausages packaging them, you should use them within about two or three weeks.
If you are unable to use them, you can slice them and package them in an air-tight container, then freeze them, which will make them last longer. If you are unsure of which dry-cured sausage you have, be it the shelf-stable or not, it will never harm the meat if you keep it in the fridge.
Can You Eat an Out-of-Date Sausage?
This is a very popular question as the sausages in question may still look fine, or they had just expired one day ago, but can you still eat the sausages if this is the case? In general, with food, expiration dates are there to mark when the food is at its peak freshness and does not always indicate when the food is actually spoiled.
With more perishable foods, like spinach, you should eat the food before the expiration date and throw it away if it has expired, but sausages are a bit more durable than spinach, so they may not always be bad when they are past their expiration date.
Whether the sausages will be fine or not will depend on how they are being stored. If your sausages were refrigerated correctly at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or kept in the freezer the entire time, then they should be safe to eat a day or two past the expiration date.
However, the expiry date on the sausage packaging may not always be exact, so you should always be cautious about being safe. Eating food that has passed its expiration date is not always a good idea, and you should use your senses and good judgment if you are going to try and eat it.
What Would Happen if You Ate a Spoiled Sausage?
What if you accidentally ate a spoiled sausage? We have all been there; you get home late from work and are starving, so you just cook the first thing you see, and you do not check it properly before cooking it. Then when you are eating it, you taste something a little strange, but you think nothing of it.
But when you are done, you realize that maybe you should have thought about that strange taste more than you did. What can you expect to happen if you eat a spoiled sausage?
The outcome of eating a spoiled sausage will depend on the individual that ate it, as some people’s stomachs are stronger than others, and they will only have a mild effect. Just like all other food-borne illnesses, the old and the young are the ones that are more susceptible to the bacteria and can become seriously ill.
If the person who has consumed the spoiled sausage has any immune disorders, this can also worsen the symptoms. If you have eaten a spoiled sausage that does not have any harmful bacteria in it, then the sausage will just taste bad, and you may get an upset stomach for a few hours.
So, if you have eaten a spoiled sausage, it does not always mean that you will get violently ill. But the severity of the illness you get will also depend on the type of sausage you ate. For Example, a poultry sausage will be the worst to eat if it has spoiled as it can carry salmonella, which causes a hospital visit.
But a spoiled pork or beef sausage will cause you to have diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting, and nausea.
Sausages are a staple food for many people, and they are eaten every day, so knowing how to tell if sausages are still good to eat is an important skill to have. If your sausages have been sitting for a while and they are smelling bad and have turned green, then you need to throw them away and buy fresh ones.
If your sausages are slimy or brown, that does not necessarily mean that they are spoiled, and you may still be able to consume them. But if you have any doubt regarding your sausages, then it will be best to throw them away and be safe rather than take a chance.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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