How to Tell if Pork Sausage is Bad: A Complete Guide!

Hey there, if you’re someone who loves pork sausages, you’ll know that they’re one of the most delicious and versatile meats out there. They can be cooked in so many ways, and they’re a staple ingredient in many dishes.

However, it’s important to always handle and consume pork sausages with care, as they can cause food poisoning if not stored or cooked properly.

In this article, we’ll explain how you can tell if your pork sausages have gone bad and give you some tips on how to store them safely, so you can continue to enjoy this delicious meat without any worries.


How to Determine If Your Pork Sausage Has Gone Bad

In this section, we’ll explore the various ways to determine if your pork sausage has gone bad.

The Sniff Test

The Sniff Test is an essential way to determine if your pork sausage has gone bad. Fresh pork sausages should have a mild aroma of the herbs used in their preparation. However, if the sausage has gone bad, it will have a putrid and pungent odor or a sour smell.

If you notice any of these smells, it’s best to dispose of the sausage immediately. It’s important to note that you should not rely solely on the smell test, as some harmful bacteria that cause foodborne illness may not produce an unpleasant odor.

Look and Feel

The look and texture of the sausage are also important indicators of freshness. When you buy fresh pork sausage, it should have a firm and bouncy texture when poked with a fork or your finger. If it feels soft or mushy, it may have gone bad. 

Fresh sausages also have a uniform color without any strange spots or discoloration. If you notice any grayish or greenish discoloration or strange spots on the sausage, it’s a clear sign that it has gone bad and should not be consumed.

In addition to the texture and color, pay attention to any visible mold on the sausage. While mold can be scraped off the surface of hard cheeses and cured meats, it is not safe to consume on fresh sausages. 

Even if the mold has not penetrated the surface of the sausage, it’s best to discard it to avoid the risk of harmful bacteria growth.

It’s also important to keep in mind that sausages that have been frozen and thawed may have a different texture than fresh sausages, even if they are still safe to eat. 

They may feel slightly softer and less bouncy due to the effects of freezing and thawing, but they should still have a uniform color and not have any strange spots or discoloration. If in doubt, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and discard the sausage.

Check for a Slimy Texture

In addition to the sniff test and appearance check, you should also examine the texture of the pork sausage to determine if it has gone bad. If the sausage has a slimy texture, it could indicate that it has gone bad. This sliminess can be felt on the exterior of the sausage or the sausage casing.

Sometimes, a slimy texture can be caused by a natural buildup of lactic acid bacteria, which can occur when the sausage is kept in its packaging for too long. While this is not necessarily a sign that the sausage has gone bad, it’s still a good idea to exercise caution and check for other signs of spoilage.

Expiration Date

The expiration date is another essential factor to consider when determining if your pork sausage has gone bad. Even if the sausage looks and smells fine, it may still be unsafe to consume if it has passed its expiration date.

Most sausages have a “best by” or “use by” date printed on the packaging. This date indicates the period when the sausage is at its peak quality, and consuming it beyond that date could increase the risk of food poisoning.

How to Store Pork Sausage Properly

Proper storage is the key to ensuring that your sausages stay fresh and delicious. Here are some tips to help you maximize their shelf life.

Wrap Them Tightly

When it comes to storing pork sausages, it is essential to wrap them tightly to prevent exposure to air and moisture, which can cause them to oxidize and spoil.

One option for wrapping your sausages is to use butcher paper, which is a durable and breathable paper that allows the meat to breathe while keeping it protected. Be sure to wrap the sausages tightly and secure the ends with tape or a twist tie to prevent any air or moisture from entering.

Another option is to use a plastic zipper-lock bag, which provides an airtight seal to keep the sausages fresh. Simply place the sausages inside the bag, press out any excess air, and seal it shut.

If you’re storing your sausages in the freezer, consider using heavy-duty aluminum foil, plastic wrapping, or a freezer bag to provide an extra layer of protection. These materials will help prevent freezer burn and extend the shelf life of your sausages.

When storing sausages in the refrigerator, you can use the original packaging if it is airtight. However, if the sausages are in Styrofoam packaging, it’s best to remove it and re-wrap the sausages in a compact plastic wrap to ensure maximum freshness.

Know How Long to Store Them

Refrigerator storage:

Uncooked pork sausage can be kept in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.

Cooked pork sausage can be stored in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

Freezer storage:

The USDA recommends storing sausages in the freezer, except for those that are dried.

Sausages can be stored in the freezer for up to 1 to 2 months while still retaining their best quality.

After 2 months, the sausages are still safe to eat but may not be at their best quality. In this case, it’s recommended to consume them within 6 months.

The storage times mentioned above are general guidelines, and the actual time may vary depending on factors such as the temperature of your fridge or freezer, the type of sausage, and how it was packaged. 

Always use your best judgment when deciding whether to consume sausages that have been stored for a while. If in doubt, it’s best to discard them to avoid the risk of foodborne illness.

What Happens When You Consume Spoiled Sausage?

Mild Symptoms of Consuming Expired Sausage

If the sausage hasn’t formed any harmful bacteria yet, you may experience mild symptoms such as a stomach ache, indigestion, or bloating. 

Severe Symptoms of Eating Bad Sausage

If the sausage is bad and has harmful bacteria, you’re at risk of food poisoning. This can lead to severe symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fever. These symptoms can last for several days, and it may take some time for them to appear.

If you experience any severe symptoms such as high fever, dehydration, or frequent vomiting, seek medical attention immediately. 

Poultry Sausages and Salmonella Risk

When it comes to bad sausage, the worst type to consume is poultry sausage, such as chicken or turkey sausage. This is because bad poultry sausages can cause salmonella, a bacterial infection that affects the intestinal tract. Fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea are among the common symptoms of salmonella infection.

To avoid consuming bad sausage, it’s essential to practice good food hygiene. Always check the expiration date before purchasing or consuming sausages, and if the sausage is past its expiration date, discard it immediately. 


Don’t take chances with spoiled sausage. Use the tips above to keep your pork sausage fresh and avoid food poisoning. 

By recognizing the signs of spoiled sausage and following proper storage and cooking techniques, you can enjoy delicious sausage without worry. 

Remember to always check the expiration date and cook your sausage thoroughly to ensure safe and enjoyable meals.

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Categories Sausage

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