Why Does My Sausage Smell Like Rotten Eggs? [Answered]

Ever experienced the unpleasant smell of rotten eggs when opening a pack of sausage links?

There are a few reasons why your sausage may emit a rotten egg smell. The most obvious reason is that the pork has gone bad.

Another reason could be the vacuum packaging. However, this smell is usually not a cause for concern, and the sausage is still safe to consume.

Finally, your sausage may emit a sulfur-like smell due to boar taint, which is a scent produced by some male pigs.

So, how can you determine the reason behind your sausage smelling like rotten eggs? It’s essential to inspect the sausage closely. 

Read on!


Detecting Spoiled Pork Sausage: Identifying the Bad Smell and Other Signs

Identifying the Smell of Spoiled Pork Sausage

It has a distinct smell that’s hard to miss. The odor is similar to that of sulfur or rotten eggs, and it’s a clear indication that the sausage has gone bad. 

If you’re not sure what the smell is like, think of the stench of decaying meat. The odor is pungent, and you’ll immediately notice it once you open the package.

Other Signs of Spoiled Pork Sausage

Apart from the foul smell, there are other signs that they have gone bad. Here are some of them:

Discoloration: Fresh sausages have a healthy pink color. If you notice that the sausages have turned gray or green, it’s a clear indication that they’ve started to spoil. Avoid consuming them, as they can cause food poisoning.

Slimy texture: If the casing of the sausages feels slimy or sticky, it’s another indication that they’re going bad. This slimy texture is a result of the bacteria that start to grow on the surface of the meat.

Change in texture: They will have a mushy or mealy texture when spoiled. If you notice that the texture of the sausages has changed, it’s best to discard them.

Why You Shouldn’t Consume Spoiled Pork Sausage

Consuming it can lead to food poisoning, which can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fever. These symptoms can be severe in some cases and can lead to hospitalization. 

It’s best to err on the side of caution and throw out any that have gone bad.

>>Read: What is Encapsulated Citric Acid.

What Causes Sausage to Smell Like Rotten Eggs?

There are several possible reasons, but not all of them necessarily mean that the sausage is spoiled. Let’s take a closer look at the three primary causes of this unpleasant odor.

Spoiled Meat

Fresh pork shouldn’t have a strong odor, but if it’s not stored properly, bacteria can begin to grow and cause the meat to spoil. 

When this happens, sausages can take on a sulfur or rotten egg smell. This is a sign that they are no longer safe to eat, and should be discarded immediately.

Boar Taint

Boar taint is a term used to describe the unpleasant odor that can occur in sausages made from non-castrated male pigs. 

This smell is caused by two hormones: androstenone, which is only found in male pigs, and skatole, which comes from intestinal bacteria and is found in both male and female pigs. 

When you cook pork, the heat can enhance the presence of these hormones and cause your sausage to smell off. 

However, it’s important to note that boar taint is not the same thing as spoiled meat. While the odor may be unpleasant, it is not harmful to consume.

Vacuum Packing

If you’ve purchased sausage from the supermarket that has been vacuum-packed, you may notice a sulfur-like smell when you open the package. 

This is because pork that is commercially packaged using the cryovac method (which removes all oxygen from the packaging to preserve the meat) can produce gas that smells like rotten eggs. 

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the sausage has gone bad. If the package is still within its sell-by date and hasn’t been opened for an extended period of time, the sausage should still be safe to eat.

How to Deal with Sausage that Smells Like Rotten Eggs

If you notice a bad smell coming from vacuum-packed pork sausages, try removing them from the packaging and leaving them out in the air for 30 minutes. 

This will help you determine if the sausage has really gone bad or if it was just a result of the packaging. 

If you don’t smell anything after 30 minutes, it’s likely safe to eat. 

If the bad smell persists, give it a try

Before throwing away the sausage, you can try to remove the smell by rinsing it or cooking it thoroughly. 

Rinse the Sausage in Running Water

In most cases, rinsing it in running water can help eliminate the smell. Be careful during this process, as the meat may have gone bad, and the casing may also be spoiled.

However, if the smell persists, it’s better to err on the side of caution and avoid consuming it.

Check the Color

As not all smells indicate spoilage, it’s essential to check the color of the sausage. If it’s starting to turn grey or has a green tint, it might not be safe to eat.

Check for Sliminess

Another way to determine if the sausage is spoiled is by touching it. If it feels slimy, it’s best to discard it immediately.

Prevent Your Sausage From Smelling Like Rotten Eggs

Purchase the fresh: 

When shopping, make sure to check for signs of decay. It’s best to buy links that are not on the verge of going bad. Store-bought sausages have a sell-by date on them that you should take note of when making your purchase.

Consume them soon after purchase: 

Whenever possible, try to eat your sausages on the same day you buy them. This ensures that you’re consuming fresh links and not letting them sit for too long.

Store in the refrigerator: 

If you’re not eating your sausages right away, store them in the refrigerator. Make sure to consume them within three to five days of refrigeration.

Freeze sausages: 

If you want to store sausages for longer than five days, freeze them. However, make sure to consume links stored in the freezer within two to three months. Beyond that, the quality of them may start to deteriorate.

Vacuum-seal sausages: 

For added freshness, consider vacuum-sealing them before placing them in the freezer. This method removes air from the packaging and prevents freezer burn.

In Conclusion 

While it can be concerning to open a pack of sausage and be hit with a rotten egg smell, there are several reasons why this can happen. 

It could be due to spoiled pork, vacuum packaging, or boar taint. 

By knowing what to look for and understanding the potential causes, you can ensure that you’re consuming safe and fresh sausage.

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