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How Long Can Sausage Last in the Fridge?

Posted in Food Safety on May 30, 2022

How long sausage can last in the fridge really depends on what type of sausage you have on hand. The time can also fluctuate based on how and if it is properly stored.

Sausage Expiration Dates

Here is a general idea of how long sausage will last in the fridge based on the type:

Raw Sausage (Pork, Beef, Chicken, or Turkey)

After purchasing sausage, it will last in the fridge for 1 to 2 days. As long as they are properly stored, they will remain safe to consume even if the sell-by date expires during that time. If you freeze raw sausage, use it within 1 to 2 months before its quality begins to deteriorate.

Precooked Sausage

Some kinds of sausage are ready-to-eat after heating them, such as hot dogs or some packaged breakfast sausages. An unopened package will last up to 2 weeks, whereas an opened package should be consumed within 1 week.

Dried Sausage

Dried sausage, such as pepperoni, is often already cooked. As a result, they typically don’t require refrigeration if bought whole and can last for up to six weeks in a cool pantry. If refrigerated, dry sausages can last indefinitely if unopened and opened for up to three weeks.

How Should Raw Sausage Be Stored?

To maximize the shelf life of raw sausage, it should be put in the fridge within two hours of purchase and kept refrigerated at all times. Unopened raw sausage can be stored in its original packaging. If the package has been opened, rewrap any unused raw sausage tightly in plastic wrap or sealed in a bag. Sausage can be frozen in its original packaging, but wrapping it with foil or plastic wrap can further prevent freezer burn.

How Do You Tell If Sausage Has Gone Bad?

Fresh sausage should be pink on the inside and taste herby when cooked. Check for the following signs to tell if sausage is spoiled:

  • Weird smell: Sausage that has gone bad will smell sour.
  • Slimy Texture: If the sausage looks or feels slimy to the touch, it is time to throw it away.
  • Awful Taste: Use taste as the last resort after visually inspecting the pizza to see if it has expired.
  • Color Change: When sausage turns a grayish or greenish color, they have probably gone bad.

What Happens if You Eat Expired Sausage?

When raw sausage harbors pathogenic bacteria from being left out or refrigerated for a long time, it is more likely to make you sick. Food poisoning typically does not last long, but it can wreak havoc on your gastrointestinal tract. As a result, you may experience nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, fever, chills, diarrhea, and dehydration for a few hours to several days.

In severe cases, foodborne illness can cause long-term complications or death. If you or a loved one contracted a foodborne illness due to negligence of a restaurant or manufacturer, you may be able to recover financial compensation. Contact an experienced food safety attorney to explore your legal options.

Will Reheating Sausage Kill the Bacteria?

Unfortunately, reheating spoiled sausage will not make it safe to eat. Even heating at high temperatures will not kill off the accumulated bacteria. Therefore, if you believe your sausage may be expired, the best option is to throw it away.