Sausages are just one of those foods that are loved by millions of people around the world. After all, it is a versatile ingredient that can be used in stews, soups, pasta, and so much more.
However, how long does sausage last after the sell-by date? Should you chuck the sausage once this date passes, or is it still safe to consume.
What Is Meant by Sell by Date?
In short, the sausage manufacturer makes an estimated guess on when the sausage will no longer be at prime quality. This is known as the sell-by date.
The sell-by date does not mean the sausage will automatically expire once this date passes o that it is not safe to consume.
The sell-by date only indicates that the sausage is no longer in its prime state.
Typically, sausage producers will assign sell-by dates a few days before the last day the food will be of prime quality.
Furthermore, the sell-by date is designed for the retailer, not the consumer.
The sell-by date lets the retailer know the last day the sausage can be sold to consumers.
This gives you, the consumer, ample time to use the sausage once the sell-by date expires.
Types of Food Dates
In addition to the sell-by date, there are several other types of product dates.
For example, you may notice food labeled with a best-if used by, best-by date, or a use-by date.
Like the sell-by date, these are not conclusive expiration dates, which means they are not set in stone. These dates also tell you the final day; the food will be in its peak condition.
Typically, best-by dates are more flexible than use-by dates. Use-by dates are better estimations as to when the food will start to spoil.
How Long Does Sausage Last
The shelf life of sausage depends on the type of sausage. In addition to this, whether the sausage is raw or cooked also plays a role in how long the sausage will last.
Essentially fresh sausages can be made from one or multiple kinds of meat. The meat is placed into a meat grinder and processed into a coarse mixture.
Fresh sausages are just as perishable as Ranch steak or chicken. Therefore, you should treat them just like you would treat any other perishable meat.
Fresh sausages should always be stored in the refrigerator. However, if fresh sausages have sat out at room temperature for more than 2 hours, they should be discarded.
This is why you should only purchase as much sausage as you think you can consume within 1-2 days.
Cooked fresh sausages will last for 3-4 days once they are stored in airtight containers.
There’s no denying it; pre-cooked sausages are pretty convenient. After all, you can fry up hotdogs or breakfast sausages and have them ready in no time.
The sausages label will explicitly have the word pre-cooked on the package.
Unlike fresh sausages, pre-cooked sausages have a longer shelf-life. For example, unopened pre-cooked sausages can last in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.
However, opened sausages will only remain fresh for 1 week once the seal has been broken.
Dried sausage resembles pepperoni. However, dried sausage does not have any fat. Therefore, if you purchase whole dried sausage, you do not need to store them in the refrigerator.
Dried sausage can be stored at room temperature in the pantry or a cool dark place for 6 weeks.
However, once a carving for dried sausage hits and you open the sausage, you must store it in the fridge for 3 weeks.
Some dried sausages are shelf-stable. Shelf-stable means the sausages can be stored at room temperature without the use of the fridge or freezer to preserve their freshness.
However, check the label to ensure the package explicitly says shelf-stable.
You do not want to eat sausage that is not shelf-stable that sat at room temperature for some time and end up with food poisoning.
How Long Is Sausage Good for After Sell by Date?
As I mentioned above, the sell-by date is not very definitive. It is an estimate of the last day the sausage will be at peak condition.
Typically, sausage is safe to consume after the sell-by date as long as it is stored in the fridge the right way.
Sausage will last for 3-4 days after the sell-by date expires when stored in the refrigerator.
In contrast, you can also toss the sausage into the freezer on the last day or a few days before the sausage’s sell-by date expires. The sausage will last for 6-8 months.
Remember, the sausage will only last at room temperature for 1-2 hours, depending on the room’s temperature.
Therefore, once you open the sausage, use the sausage right away or store it in an airtight container.
You can also rewrap the sausage tightly with plastic wrap or use a vacuum sealer for packaging the sausage.
Sausage that has been adequately refrigerated should be cooked within three days of purchase before storing it in the fridge.
Although the sausage will last a few days past the sell-by date, if you notice signs such as a rancid odor, mold, or a slimy texture, the sausage is definitely spoiled and should be discarded immediately.
Sometimes we place food in the fridge and forget about it. Your sausage may have been hiding behind leftover prime rib or brisket.
If you do not how long the sausage has been sitting in the fridge, do not look up how long does sausage last in the fridge.
Discard the sausage immediately, regardless of whether the sell-by date has passed or not.
In the same way, sausage can go spoil before the sell date expires; it can also spoil after the sell-by date passes.
This is why you need to know how long the sausage lasts after the sell-by date.
Sausage will only last 3-4 days after the sell-by date. Therefore, you should use the sausage immediately or toss it in the freezer to extend its shelf life.
You might also be interested in the following:
- How Long Is Beef Good for After Sell by Date
- How Long Is Ground Beef Good for After Sell by Date
- How Long Is Steak Good for After Its Sell by Date
- How Long Is Chicken Good for After the Sell by Date
- How Long Is Pork Good for After Sell-by Date
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.