Sausages are not only great by themselves as a side dish but are also one of those foods that go splendidly in a variety of other dishes, including pastas, soups and sauces.
When it comes to versatility, pork sausages can also be adapted to numerous different cooking methods. Whether you prefer a boiled, baked, grilled or pan-fried flavor, with your favorite sausage, there’s something for everyone.
It’s safe to say that it’s never not a good idea to have sausages on hand and for that, proper storage is crucial.
Have you ever opened the fridge door and been taken aback by a rancid smell? While the source could be a number of things, a good possibility could be that it’s your sausages.
Fresh sausages are essentially made from ground meat, herbs and spices, all combined and packed into a thin casing.
When fresh sausages are good, they’re springy, have a subtle meaty and herb-like smell and possess a pink color. In this state, sausages are an excellent source of vitamin B-12 and iron.
However, when sausages turn rotten, all of these health benefits disappear and you are left with nothing but spoiled food.
Although there are obvious signs of spoilage, when sausages initially go bad, it may be difficult to identify whether or not they have actually expired.
In today’s fast-paced society, life is too busy to have to worry about possibly eating rotten food (not to mention the ailments you may contract post-eating- especially when it comes to meat), which is exactly why we are here to share with you 5 foolproof ways of being able to recognize spoiled sausages.
If your pork sausages pass any of the following texture, smell, color or mold tests, they have likely gone bad and we would highly recommend not consuming them.
How To Tell If Your Pork Sausages Are Bad: Texture?
If you have suspicions that your sausages may be past their prime, a great indicator of this is the texture.
If any of the following signs are visible, it’s likely time to throw them away.
|Softness||When sausages are fresh, there’s an easy trick you can do that will let you know whether or not your sausages have spoiled. |
Stab your sausages with a fork. If the texture is firm and bouncy, your sausages are still good to eat.
On the other hand, if the sausages feel loose and mushy, they are likely starting to rot.
If you’re still not sure, check out the next section on sliminess.
|Sliminess||In addition to a loose and mushy texture, often when your sausages begin to spoil, they will feel slimy to the touch. |
It’s important to note that the casing on fresh sausages are naturally a bit slimy, even when they are still good to eat.
If you’re feeling unsure whether or not the sliminess is indicating spoilage, check out some of the other signs such as the color or smell.
How To Tell If Your Pork Sausages Are Bad: Smell?
When it comes to identifying whether or not food has gone bad, the most common indicator is smell.
Have you ever opened your fridge or walked into your pantry and almost got knocked over by an extremely unpleasant odor?
If this happens, it’s a good idea to find the root cause of it. If you suspect it might be your sausages, take a look at the following indicators.
|Unpleasant Smell||When sausages are fresh, their smell is actually fairly mild. |
A fresh sausage will only be slightly aromatic of meat as well as any spices and herbs that have been integrated into the sausages.
When sausages start to go bad and develop bacteria or mold, they will develop a strong and pungent smell that may be sour or off-putting.
If you observe that your sausages are giving off funky aromatic vibes, it’s time to get rid of them.
If you’re feeling unsure, look for some of the other indicators, such as the texture, color and whether or not mold is present.
How To Tell If Your Pork Sausages Are Bad: Color?
After smell, the second most obvious indicator of rotten meat is appearance.
When you look at your sausages and your instincts are telling you that something is off visually, you’re probably right.
The color, in particular, will be a sure sign of this.
For further reassurance, check out these indicators
|Color||To identify whether or not your sausages have gone bad, it’s important to keep in mind that naturally, sausages should possess a pinkish hue. |
If you take a look at your sausages and notice that they have either turned grayish in color or are becoming discolored in any way (or both), it’s time to discard them.
NOTE: Some sausages are dyed to make them appear more fresh. Sausages that lack these additives may turn gray quickly when exposed to oxygen.
The best way to distinguish this natural and healthy process from sausages that have gone bad is time. If more than a couple of days have gone by, and the gray hue is accompanied by a strange odor, your sausages have spoiled.
If you’re still feeling unsure, look for some of the other indicators, such as the texture and whether or not mold is present.
How To Tell If Your Pork Sausages Are Bad: Mold?
For the sake of both you and the fridge, we hope your sausages never reach this state.
If they do, don’t panic. We’ve all been there- you haven’t cleaned out the fridge in a while and food inevitably gets lost in the dark abyss that is the meat drawer.
You start to notice a strong odor and decide it’s time to go on a hunt to identify where the smell is coming from. And that’s when you discover it. A shriveled lump of something that once resembled food, is now covered in mold.
Mold is extremely unhealthy and, when consumed, can make you very sick. If you’re not sure whether or not the spots on your sausages are moldy, the indications in the following chart may be able to help you.
|Mold Spots||When your sausages begin to go bad, they may start to develop mold.|
This will appear in the form of white fuzzy spots and should not be consumed under any circumstances.
Your sausages may also become plagued with green, blue or black spots. When this happens, it’s important to discard them immediately.
NOTE: While it is unsafe to consume areas that are moldy, if only a small part of the sausages are fuzzy or discolored, you can simply cut this out and consume the rest.
A good rule of thumb is to cut 1-inch around the moldy areas.
If you’re unsure, it’s best not to risk it!
RELATED: The 35 Best Ground Pork Recipes
How To Tell If Your Pork Sausages Are Bad: Expiration Date?
This one may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many people ignore this indicator and find themselves eating rather unpleasant food.
Because of the possible health risks, when it comes to meat, you don’t want to play around with the expiry date.
|Expiration Date||If you’ve purchased your sausages from a grocery store or butcher shop, they should always have a label on them that either states “expiration date” or “best until.” |
This date is there for a reason and will inform you until what day your meat is safe to eat.
While some foods may still be okay a couple of days after this date, meat is a different story.
Sausages can go bad without you even noticing. The texture, smell and color may look completely fine, but there could be harmful bacteria growing inside, such as E. Coli or salmonella.
Therefore, always strictly abide by the expiration date provided.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Store Sausages?
In order to avoid being left with spoiled sausages or accidentally eating bad sausages and getting sick, it’s vital that you are aware of how to properly store them.
Sausages can be stored in both the fridge and the freezer, depending on when you want to use them.
In The Fridge: if your sausages are raw, they will only last in the fridge for up to 1-2 days. You can extend this time to 4 days by immediately cooking your sausages after buying them and storing them in foil or an airtight container.
In The Freezer: if you wish to eat your sausages at a later date, you can also store them in the freezer for up to 2 months. Just make sure that if the sausages are raw, you get them in the freezer within 2 days of purchasing them to ensure you are retaining the best flavor and texture possible for when they are thawed.
For the freezer method, you also want to wrap each sausage individually (or in small batches) in both plastic wrap and foil to avoid freezer burn.
Remember that regardless of how you store them, sausages should not be left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
Can You Eat Gray Sausages?
If you notice your sausages are grayish in color, your first instinct is likely to throw them out. Gray discoloration, however, doesn’t always indicate spoilage.
During the production process, some sausages are actually dyed to make them appear more fresh and vibrant. Sausages that lack these additives may turn gray quickly when exposed to oxygen.
- The best way to distinguish this natural and healthy process from sausages that have gone bad is time, as well as other indicators of spoilage. If more than a couple days have gone by, and the gray hue is accompanied by a strange odor, your sausages have spoiled. Otherwise, they are likely still okay to eat.
What Will Happen If You Eat Bad Sausages?
Eating a small bite of spoiled sausage likely won’t cause anything to happen, but in the unfortunate case that you eat a greater quantity of expired sausage, the effects may be more severe.
Food poisoning, for example, may occur. Symptoms of this include: mild cramps, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.
If your sausages have reached the state where they are contaminated and have developed bacteria (such as E. coli or salmonella), you may become even more ill and need immediate medical attention.
This could also be the case when consuming large amounts of moldy sausage.
If you are experiencing any of the following, it’s important you get in contact with a medical professional as soon as possible: shortness of breath, nausea, an elevated temperature, or diarrhea.
How Do You Know When Sausages Have Gone Bad?
When sausages start to go bad, they will typically give off 4 different indications.
The top 5 indicators include texture, smell, color, whether or not your sausages have mold on them and lastly, the expiration date provided.
Texture relates to a loose and slimy exterior. In terms of smell, an off-putting or strange odor will also indicate your sausages have spoiled.
In addition, if your sausages have changed to a grayish hue or have become discolored, you may want to throw them away.
If you see any mold spots in the form of white, fuzzy, or green, blue or black areas, your sausages have definitely gone bad.
Another good indicator is the expiration date provided. Make sure to always consume your sausages prior to the “best until” date.
Finally, if you’ve gone as far as cooking your sausages and take a bite and notice the flavor is off, you should definitely avoid consuming more.
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