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You must be thinking about what to do with that pack of expired sausages lying in your fridge. Maybe it still looks fresh as new, or maybe it is just a day or two past its expiration date. You can either eat it or throw it away! Now, the burning question is, is it safe to eat expired sausages? The answer may surprise you!
Basically, sausages are meat products. So, they are sure to perish sooner or later. Usually, if you keep sausages in the refrigerator, they will remain good for one or two days after their expiry date. However, if you store them in the freezer, they will remain great for as long as needed.
I know that pack of sausages is bothering you! For this purpose, you need to learn how to tell when sausages go bad. Besides, you must understand the consequences of eating expired sausages and thereby avoid such habits. So, to analyze all these facts in detail, please read the entire article.
Can You Eat Sausages Past Their Expiration Date?
To be fair, sausages are the most common meat dish in any cuisine. Often, people buy a lot of sausages at once and then store them in their house. So, naturally, some of them may go past their best-by date.
There are controversial opinions regarding whether you can eat expired sausages or not. It all comes down to how you store it.
Sausages are good to go with any dish. On your breakfast platter, or an evening pizza, or even in salads, sausages will just fit everywhere! Now, there are several kinds of sausages on the market. You have beef, chicken, pork, turkey, etc., to choose from. Whatever the type, the main ingredient here is meat.
Generally, meat can go bad really quickly. If not processed properly, any kind of meat will go bad if kept outside for a certain amount of time. Also, meat is temperature-sensitive. Without the optimum conditions, meat can undergo oxidation and turn sour or rancid! These can harbor harmful microbes, toxins, and bacteria!
Moreover, this oxidized product is not good for your health. You can end up with nasty diseases if you eat these harmful substances. Besides, many preservatives are present in these packages of commercial sausages. Once it goes past the expiration date, the chemicals change into entirely different compounds, many of which are harmful!
So, Should You Eat It?
Actually, it all depends on how you store the sausages. If you have kept the regular packaged sausages outside in the open, they are sure to go bad after a few hours. In this case, you don’t even have to wait for the expiration date to come. It may even go bad long before then!
Furthermore, if you keep the sausages in your refrigerator, they can stay fresh for a few days. Suppose you didn’t notice the date and you bought some sausages that were already close to their best-by or best-selling date. You kept them in the fridge without knowing that they had already expired. Usually, these can remain good for a day or two in the refrigerator.
That is to say, the temperature maintained by the refrigerator can delay the oxidation process for a day or two. However, the meat can show obvious signs of putrefaction and go bad after this time! So, if stored properly, sausages can be safe to eat for a day or two past their expiration date.
But the same is not valid for cooked sausages. When you cook the sausages, the rawness of the meat doesn’t retain any more. So, the compounds that could oxidize are no longer actively present. Hence, cooked sausages can remain fresh for a bit longer than the uncooked ones, once past their expiration date!
On the other hand, if you store the packaged sausages in the freezer, they can remain good for nearly two to three months past their date. Some would even say a bit longer, but it is not wise to consider a more flexible time frame. Nonetheless, it is the case of frozen sausages. So, under these temperature conditions, the sausages can remain quite good.
How Can You Extend Their Lifespan?
Actually, the expiration date is a given term. All companies use this term to keep a deadline. It is basically a warning date for you. Usually, the sausages do not go bad instantly after this date.
For example, a pack has written April 15th, 2022 as its best-before date. It means there is a good chance the meat will go bad after April 15th. It doesn’t indicate the meat becomes inedible right from the 15th of April. So, you don’t have to be that scared!
Therefore, if you want, you can do some things yourself to ensure that the sausages stay fresh for a longer time. Store them in the refrigerator after drying them and covering them with aluminum foil. You can also store them in a separate box.
Besides, before storing them, make sure the pieces you chose are just fine. Check if any piece is already rotten; discard it. Otherwise, it can ruin the other fresh pieces!
Also, if you still have the package intact, you can store it for more than a week in the fridge. But if you have already opened the box, you must consume it within a week. So, buy only the right amount that you are sure you can consume in a given time frame. If you buy in bulk, there is a greater possibility of the sausages turning bad.
Keep your sausages at temperatures ranging from 40 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit for no more than two hours. However, if you want to have a good recipe for homemade sausages, here is a quick recipe!
How To Know If Sausages Have Gone Bad?
Actually, it is pretty easy to determine whether any kind of meat is rotten or not. It will start to show some obvious signs. Be it beef, chicken, or pork, the signs are the same everywhere!
Firstly, any kind of meat that is rotten will give off a very peculiar, pungent, and offensive smell. It is not very pleasant and can take up the whole house! The smell is usually the first thing people notice. So, smell your sausages first to check their validity!
Next, look for color. Good and fresh sausages have uneven colors on their surface. They are not pink everywhere or red in all parts. Some parts may show a bit more color. On the other hand, rotten sausages will exhibit a uniform color on the portion that has gone bad. The part can be uniformly red, pink, brown, or grey.
Then, see if there are any obvious moldy growths. The fungus can grow very easily on meat. If fungi have already invaded the sausages, there will be a whitish, filamentous mold-like growth. So, be very careful about these. Also, the sausages can become very dry when they rot.
Last but not least, the taste is fundamental. When meat goes bad, it has a peculiar sour or acidic taste. If it is bad, you will understand this very well right from the first bite. Hence, look out for the taste!
What Happens If You Eat Expired Sausages?
If you have already consumed expired sausages, you should be a little concerned. In the case of some people, they have a pretty resistant gut, and these things don’t affect them much. But some people have an upset stomach, and the slightest wrong move can cause havoc!
The most common problems occur with your gastrointestinal health. If the sausages were bad, you might suffer from a terrible tummy ache and uncontrollable loose motions! That is, you can have bad food poisoning.
Usually, the patients suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, fever, etc. Due to excessive fluid loss from the body, you may even suffer from hypovolemic shock and require resuscitation. If the condition is serious, it can even lead to septicemia and even death!
Besides, some people have this tendency to eat with suspicion. They will be scared even before they start eating anything new. It is a critical neurogenic cause of food poisoning.
Besides, expired food can contain harmful chemicals. Meat products use nitrate preservatives which can transform into carcinogenic substances after a particular time. So, it can be a severe health concern!
Expired foods are not good for your health. Therefore, try not to consume expired foods, even if it is some simple sausages. After all, your health matters!