How To Tell If Sausage Is Bad – 5 Best Ways

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When food has gone bad, it will typically exhibit clear and obvious signs that indicate it is now time to throw it away. In particular when it comes to meat, it will always let you know when it is well past its prime. Especially when it comes to meat.

Sausage is no exception. Certain kinds of sausage can be kept for a really long time if they are properly stored, but other kinds of sausage are more likely to spoil.

The question now is: how do you determine when it is appropriate to throw away that sausage? How is it possible to tell if sausage has gone bad?

How To Tell If Sausage Is Bad?

If the sausage has developed an unpleasant odor, an unusual color or appearance, a change in flavor, and a slimy texture, this indicates that it has gone bad. If sausage has passed its expiration date, it should be thrown away even if there are no obvious signs that it has gone bad; however, it is still best to dispose of it.

How To Tell If Sausage Is Bad

When sausage has gone bad, it will produce signs that can be identified using our senses of smell, sight, taste, and touch. These signs will be present.

1. Odor

The aroma of the sausage is probably one of the first things you ought to look into checking out. The aroma of fresh meat should be like that of meat.

If your sausage has an odor that is either extremely pungent and offensive or smells like something has recently passed away, it is best to throw it away. It indicates that bacteria have taken control, and the food has become spoiled.

Nevertheless, even if the odor isn’t particularly strong, if it smells off, or if it smells of something else, it is best to just throw them away as a precautionary measure.

2. Color and Appearance

Fresh sausages that are safe for human consumption will typically have a color that is consistent throughout, and they will not have any peculiar growths or spots on them. In most cases, they will have a pinkish hue to them.

If the color of your sausage has changed to a grayish brown, this indicates that it has begun to deteriorate. Brown meat is oxidized meat, and although it may not be necessarily spoiled yet at this point, it is definitely on the way there and will most definitely not taste as good as fresh sausages.

If, on the other hand, the color of your sausage has changed to green, or if you notice any mold or other strange growths on your sausage, you should throw them away as soon as possible.

It is obvious that color alone is not a foolproof method for determining whether or not sausage has gone bad, as this would also be dependent on the type of sausage you have. Because of this, it is essential to make sure that you look for other signs as well.

3. Texture

If you find that your sausage has become slimy on the outside or that it has a strange slimy texture, this is a sign that it has gone bad and needs to be thrown away.

4. Flavor

Even if there is no visible sign of spoilage, it is best to throw away sausage that has developed an off flavor, even if it appears to be fine in appearance, smell, and texture. Flavor changes are one of the most reliable indicators of food spoilage.

5. Expiration Date

It is essential, particularly when dealing with meat products, to pay attention to the date that is printed on the package of sausages that you purchase. Even if your sausages do not exhibit any obvious indications of spoiling, you should generally avoid consuming them once the expiry date has passed as this indicates that they are no longer safe to eat.

The meat’s expiration date provides us with a general sense of when it was processed and packaged. It is also the manufacturer’s method of informing customers about the period of time during which the product will be of the highest possible quality.

Monitoring the dates on which your food goods are set to expire will guarantee that you only consume food that is not only tasty but also completely risk-free to ingest.

How To Properly Store Sausage

Unless it is a dry sausage, fresh and cooked sausage should not be left outside for longer than two hours. Bacteria that cause food spoilage proliferate at temperatures between 40°F -140°F, also known as the food “danger zone”.

Leaving your sausages at these temperatures for longer than two hours, one hour if the room is above 90 °F, will guarantee their quick spoilage.

Sausage, especially if they are fresh and uncooked, should be properly and securely wrapped before storing in the fridge or the freezer to avoid cross-contamination.

Airtight containers specifically allocated for raw meat or freezer bags should work well in keeping your sausages fresh and safe.

How Long Does Sausage Last in the Fridge?

In general, sausages are perishable and do not have a shelf life that is particularly lengthy, with the exception of dry sausages, which may keep for a very long period.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) advises that all varieties of sausage be stored in the refrigerator or freezer until they are ready to be consumed.

When kept in the refrigerator, fresh sausage that has not been cooked has a shelf life of just one to two days. After it has been prepared, it may be stored for up to four days at most.

When stored in the refrigerator in their unopened packaging, cooked sausages such as hotdogs have a shelf life of around two weeks before they become spoilt. After being opened, it will keep for approximately a week after being refrigerated.

When stored in a cool, dry location in the pantry, unopened packages of whole dry sausage have a shelf life of about one month. According to the USDA, their shelf life is nearly endless if they are kept in the refrigerator.

These timelines should only be used as a reference point. In order to determine whether or not our sausage is still safe to eat, we are going to have to exercise extreme caution and rely on our senses of smell, touch, and sight.

If something seems off, either visually or olfactorily, it is best to err on the side of caution and avoid consuming it, even if the time frame for consumption is still within the parameters of the plan.

How Long Does Sausage Last in the Freezer?

We know that all kinds of food will last pretty much forever in the freezer because bacteria that cause food spoilage cannot act at those cold temperatures.

However, food does deteriorate in quality when kept in the freezer for too long. The texture changes due to crystallization and after some time, they will not be enjoyable to eat.

This also holds true for sausages. The USDA recommends that most types of sausages only be stored in the freezer for about 1 to 2 months, and sausages cooked by the consumer, for about 2-3 months.

When storing in the freezer, make sure that sausages are kept in an airtight container or kept properly wrapped in freezer bags to avoid freezer burn and contamination with other food.

What Happens If I Eat Bad Sausage?

Consuming sausage that has gone bad or is spoiled puts your health at risk and increases your likelihood of contracting a food-borne illness. Cooking spoiled meat does not actually deactivate the toxins that are released by the bacteria and pathogens that cause food to go bad, and eating contaminated meat can make you extremely ill.

When you consume bad sausage, you run the risk of experiencing a number of symptoms, including the following:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Neurological issues

It’s possible that the symptoms will go away after a few days, but it’s also possible that they’ll stick around for weeks, depending on how severe they are. They could also possibly lead to hospitalization, and in some cases they could even be life-threatening.

It is not worth the trouble and discomfort involved in consuming something that will most likely not taste good regardless of whether or not you eat it.

Frequently Asked Questions to How To Tell if Sausage Is Bad

What Does Bad Sausage Smell Like?

When sausage has gone bad, it will have an odor that is very strong and unpleasant, and it will be difficult to miss. The aroma of fresh meat should be like that of flesh. If it smells rancid in addition to the other strong odors, then it has gone bad.

What Does Bad Sausage Look Like?

Bad sausage will have a texture that is slimy and a color that is either green or grayish brown. It may also have spots of discoloration.

Conclusion to How Do I Tell If Sausage Is Bad

When sausage has gone bad, it will have an unpleasant odor, an unusual color or appearance, and a slimy consistency. In general, sausage has a very short shelf life, so if you are not going to cook it right away, it is best to either store it in the freezer for later use or to buy it much closer to the time when you will need it.


How can you tell if sausage is spoiled?

To begin, you will be able to determine whether or not your pork sausage has gone bad based on the aroma, appearance, and consistency of the sausage. You shouldn’t eat it if it has a rancid smell, a slimy coat, or a consistent color because these are all signs that it is spoiled.

Is sausage good after 5 days?

Fresh sausage that has not been cooked can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two days; once cooked, it can be kept for up to three days (at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower). Whole and unopened links of hard or dry sausage (such as pepperoni and Genoa salami), if stored in the refrigerator, can be kept there indefinitely, while unopened links can be kept in the pantry for up to six weeks.

How will you know that sausage is of good quality?

Examine the state of that sausage before cooking it on the stovetop or on the barbecue. It is possible that it has gone bad if it has a grayish color or any slimy coating on it. In addition to this, you should smell the sausage to make certain that it does not have a sour odor. Uncooked sausage that is healthy will be pink in color and will smell only of the herbs that are contained within it.

Does sausage go bad easily?

Whether or not the package has been opened, fresh sausages have a shelf life in your refrigerator of only one to two days, as stated in the guidelines provided by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). If you cook fresh sausages before putting them in the refrigerator, you can slightly extend the amount of time they will remain edible by up to three or four days.

What does bad pork sausage smell like?

Main Signs Pork Has Gone Bad

When pork has gone bad, it has a sour smell; however, if you detect any other odor, you should probably throw it away right away. I feel obligated to warn you that some pre-packaged pork has a trace of ammonia smell, which has the potential to be misinterpreted as a sour smell. However, this is all a result of the manner in which the meat is processed and packaged.