Does Summer Sausage Go Bad? | All You Need to Know!

Summer sausages are cured, which means they’re designed to last longer than other types of sausages, so you can enjoy a tasty meal for a much longer time. 

In contrast to most meats, which have a limited shelf life in high temperatures, summer sausages can be consumed throughout the year.

So, you’re probably wondering if summer sausage can go bad, right? Well, the answer is Yes, it definitely can spoil eventually

But don’t worry, we’ve got some tips on how to extend its shelf life, so you can enjoy it for even longer.

Read on!


Can Summer Sausage Spoil?

Yes. While it lasts longer than most other types of meat, it can still go bad.

The shelf life of summer sausage is mainly influenced by three factors which are the storage environment, whether it has been opened or not, and whether it has been cooked.

Storage Conditions: 

Summer sausage ought to be kept in a cool and dry location, as exposure to heat and humidity can accelerate spoilage.

If you’re storing it in the refrigerator, make sure to keep it in an airtight container or package to protect it from moisture.

Opened or Unopened: 

Unopened summer sausage will last longer than opened sausage. Once you open the package, the clock starts ticking, and it will only last for a few weeks in the refrigerator.

Cooked or Uncooked: 

Cooked summer sausage will last longer than uncooked sausage. If you’re not planning to eat it right away, it’s best to cook it before storing it in the refrigerator.

What Are The Signs that Indicate Summer Sausage has Gone Bad?

Summer sausage is a tasty treat, but it’s important to know how to recognize the signs of spoilage to avoid food poisoning. Here are some ways to tell if summer sausage has gone bad:


If the summer sausage has changed color from its original hue, it may be a sign of spoilage. The absence of nitrites and nitrates, which are preservatives that prolong the shelf life of summer sausages, can cause discoloration.

Foul Smell: 

Another way to tell if summer sausage has gone bad is by its smell. If it has a pungent and unpleasant odor, it may indicate spoilage. The smell can intensify as the meat ages, so pay attention to it.

Slimy Texture: 

Spoiled summer sausage can have a slimy or slippery texture. This is a sign that bacteria have started to multiply on the surface of the sausage.


If you notice any mold growing on the surface of the sausage, it’s a sign of spoilage. You should discard the sausage immediately as consuming moldy food can cause health problems.

Cooked summer sausage may show signs of spoilage sooner than uncooked sausages. This is because the moisture content in cooked sausage makes it more susceptible to bacteria, which can accelerate its deterioration.

If you notice any of the signs mentioned above, it’s best to err on the side of caution and discard the summer sausage. Eating spoiled meat can lead to food poisoning and various health problems, such as nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.

Is It Safe to Consume Summer Sausage Beyond Its Expiration Date?

Eating summer sausage past its expiration date is not recommended. The expiration date indicates the last day the sausage is guaranteed to be at its best quality and safe to eat.

While it’s possible that summer sausage could still be safe to eat after the expiration date, it’s essential to assess the quality and safety of the sausage before consuming it. 

Factors such as how it has been stored, whether it’s been opened or not, and how long it’s been past the expiration date can all affect its safety and quality.

If you’re considering consuming summer sausage past its expiration date, there are several signs to look for that could indicate spoilage or unsafe conditions. 

These include a foul smell, slimy or slippery texture, discoloration, and mold growth. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to discard the sausage immediately and not consume it.

Do Some Summer Sausages Need Refrigeration?

Well, the answer is not that straightforward as it depends on the specific type of sausage.

While some summer sausages are shelf-stable and don’t require refrigeration, keeping them at inadequate temperatures can quicken the deterioration of the meat. So, it’s always best to refrigerate them if you want to prolong their shelf life.

But how can you determine whether your summer sausage needs refrigeration or not? 

Easy, just check the packaging instructions provided by the manufacturer. Many sausages come with labels indicating whether they need refrigeration or not.

For instance, if the label says “refrigerate after opening,” then it’s shelf-stable and can be stored in your pantry until you’re ready to use it. These types of sausages don’t need to be refrigerated or frozen to stay safe to eat.

On the flip side, if the label says “needs refrigeration,” you should store it in your fridge to maintain its quality. Unopened products can stay fresh for about six months in the fridge. 

So, it’s essential to keep an eye on the labeling and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent any health hazards that may arise from improperly storing summer sausages.

Can I Freeze Summer Sausages?

The answer is Yes, you definitely can.

Freezing summer sausages is a great way to prolong their shelf life. When stored in the freezer, these sausages can maintain their best properties and flavor for around 10 months. And, even beyond that time, they can still be safe to consume if kept frozen at 0° Fahrenheit constantly.

To freeze your summer sausages, wrap them with airtight freezer wrap or aluminum foil. Alternatively, you can place them inside heavy-duty freezer bags.

When you’re ready to use your sausages, remove them from the freezer and thaw them in the fridge overnight. Avoid thawing them in warm water or at room temperature, as this can lead to bacterial growth and spoilage.

Keep in mind that freezing and thawing can affect the texture and taste of the meat. Therefore, it’s best to consume them as soon as possible after thawing to enjoy the best quality and flavor.


In summary, summer sausage can spoil, but there are several steps you can take to extend its shelf life. 

By following the manufacturer’s instructions, storing it at the correct temperature, paying attention to the expiration date, and even freezing it if necessary, you can ensure that you’re enjoying a high-quality and delicious snack for months to come. 

Remember, proper storage and handling are key to maintaining the flavor and freshness of your summer sausage.

Related Post:

Categories Sausage

Leave a Comment