Are you a fan of pork sausage?
Do you often find yourself with leftover sausages after a barbecue or a big breakfast?
If so, you may be wondering how long you can keep them in the fridge before they go bad.
The answer may surprise you.
In this article, we’ll explore the shelf life of pork sausage and provide tips on how to store it properly to ensure it stays fresh and safe to eat.
So, grab a cup of coffee and let’s dive in!
How Long Can You Keep Pork Sausage In The Fridge?
The shelf life of pork sausage in the fridge depends on whether it’s cooked or raw.
If you have cooked pork sausage, it can last in the fridge for three to four days. However, it’s important to store it properly. Make sure it’s in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in foil or plastic wrap. This will help prevent bacteria from growing and keep the sausage fresh.
On the other hand, if you have raw pork sausage, it will only last in the fridge for one to two days. After that, it’s best to either cook it or freeze it.
If you plan on freezing raw pork sausage, make sure to do so before the number of days shown for refrigerator storage has elapsed. This will help ensure that the sausage maintains its quality when you thaw and cook it later on.
What Is The Shelf Life Of Pork Sausage In The Fridge?
As mentioned earlier, the shelf life of pork sausage in the fridge depends on whether it’s cooked or raw. If you have uncooked fresh sausage, it can only be stored in the refrigerator for one to two days. Once you’ve cooked it, you can keep it in the fridge for an additional three to four days.
It’s important to note that these time frames are only estimates and can vary depending on the storage conditions and how the sausage was prepared. To ensure that your pork sausage stays fresh for as long as possible, make sure to store it properly in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in foil or plastic wrap.
It’s also important to keep in mind that once the sell-by date on the package has passed, the sausage may still be safe to eat as long as it has been properly stored. However, if you’re unsure how long your pork sausage has been sitting in the fridge, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and throw it out.
How To Store Pork Sausage Properly To Extend Its Shelf Life
Proper storage is key to extending the shelf life of pork sausage, whether it’s cooked or raw. Here are some tips on how to store pork sausage properly:
1. Refrigerate the Sausage – If you have raw pork sausage, make sure to refrigerate it immediately. It will only last in the fridge for one to two days, so it’s important to use it or freeze it within that time frame. Store it in an airtight container, or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent air and moisture from getting in.
2. Freeze the Sausage – To extend the shelf life of pork sausage, you can freeze it. Make sure to wrap it tightly in freezer paper or plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn. Sausage that is sold in bulk without any casing can last up to six months in the freezer, while sausage with casings can last up to two months. When thawing sausage, make sure to do it in the fridge and not at room temperature.
3. Reheat the Sausage – If you plan on reheating pork sausage that has been stored in the fridge or freezer, make sure to do so thoroughly until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. This will ensure that any harmful bacteria is killed and the sausage is safe to eat.
4. Use Butcher Paper – Butcher paper is great for storing meat in the fridge for several days. If you want to freeze pork sausage in butcher paper, drop the tightly wrapped package into a Ziploc bag to minimize exposure to air and moisture.
5. Avoid Extreme Temperatures – The shelf life of pork sausage is greatly reduced if it’s exposed to extreme temperatures. Store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
By following these tips, you can extend the shelf life of your pork sausage and ensure that it stays fresh and safe for consumption.
Signs That Your Pork Sausage Has Gone Bad
It’s important to know when your pork sausage has gone bad to avoid potential food poisoning. Here are some signs to look out for:
1. Foul odor: If your pork sausage gives off a putrid or rancid smell, it’s a sign that it has gone bad. This odor occurs due to the increased growth of spoilage bacteria on the sausage.
2. Discoloration: A gray or brown discoloration on the outer surface of the pork sausage or blue, green, or grey fuzzy mold indicates that the meat is rotten.
3. Slimy texture: Spoiled pork sausage will have a slimy or sticky texture instead of a firm consistency that breaks apart if you squeeze the meat. The slime occurs from the build-up of spoilage bacteria.
4. Change in color: Fresh pork sausage will be a pink or red color, but as it starts to go bad, it will begin to turn brown or gray. If the sausage is changing color, it’s best to discard it.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to throw away the pork sausage and not consume it. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to food safety.
Can You Freeze Pork Sausage For Longer Storage?
Yes, you can freeze pork sausage for longer storage. In fact, freezing is the best way to extend the shelf life of raw pork sausage. According to the USDA, frozen sausage will stay good for six months or more. However, it’s important to properly store the sausage in the freezer to prevent freezer burn.
Uncooked or cooked pork sausage can be kept in the freezer for 6-8 months. If properly stored, sausage remains safe beyond 8 months but the quality is compromised. Frozen sausages are best consumed within 2-3 months of storage. It’s recommended to freeze cooked sausage instead of raw since raw sausage will only last in the freezer for one to two months before the quality begins to suffer.
To freeze pork sausage, make sure it’s in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in foil or plastic wrap. You can also use heavy-duty aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or freezer paper to overwrap the original store packaging in order to prevent freezer burn. If you have access to a vacuum sealing machine, this is even better as it will help keep air away from the sausage and extend its shelf life.
When you’re ready to use frozen pork sausage, thaw it in the fridge overnight. You can also thaw it in cold water or in the microwave, but make sure to cook it immediately after thawing if you use these methods.
Tips For Cooking With Pork Sausage To Ensure Food Safety
When cooking with pork sausage, it’s important to follow some basic food safety guidelines to prevent contamination and foodborne illness. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Always wash your hands before and after handling raw pork sausage. This will help prevent the spread of bacteria.
2. Use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw meat and other foods, such as vegetables or bread. This will help prevent cross-contamination.
3. Cook pork sausage thoroughly to kill any bacteria that may be present. The internal temperature of the sausage should reach 155°F for at least 15 seconds.
4. Avoid letting cooked pork sausage sit at room temperature for more than two hours. If you’re serving it at a party or event, make sure to keep it hot in a slow cooker or chafing dish.
5. Store leftover cooked pork sausage in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. Reheat it thoroughly before eating.
By following these tips, you can enjoy delicious pork sausage while also keeping yourself and your family safe from foodborne illness.