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Avoiding Spoilage: How Long Do Summer Sausages Last?

Meat is probably one of the most delicious food items but also the fastest food item to go foul.

does summer sausage go bad

Why do good things have to go bad so early? We understand your pain! There always seems to be something to give away with the things we love.

But fret not. With summer sausages, things aren’t as bad, actually. These sausages are designed to last much longer than other types of sausages.

While a meat’s shelf-life is the most meager in hot climates, the summer sausage is the best at beating the heat, much like its namesake.

The summer sausage got its name in popular American vocab because of its ability to remain unspoiled even in the peak of summer if kept unopened and properly stored.

So, let’s answer the question “how long does summer sausage last?” and all the factors that affect their shelf life.

How Long Does Summer Sausage Last? Does Summer Sausage Go Bad?

how long does summer sausage last

A summer sausage’s shelf-life is affected by three key factors. That is, whether or not it is opened, what conditions it is being stored in, and whether or not your summer sausage is cooked.

A summer sausage though more durable than other types of sausages, will eventually go bad.

According to Hemplers, a summer sausage manufacturer, summer sausages though made to resist heat and moisture, is best left refrigerated if you want to extend their shelf life.

Summer sausage packets often have a label that reads “refrigerate after opening” or “needs refrigeration.”

Food safety instructions by the US Food and Drug Administration require consumers to keep the safety precautions given by manufacturers to avoid food-related health hazards.

Food poisoning from meat can lead to health hazards stretching from mild symptoms to more serious ones. Some of the symptoms are vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service provide a sausage storage chart that estimates how long you can store a summer sausage.

According to the chart, an unopened summer sausage can last for up to 3 months in a refrigerator.

After being opened, the semi-dry sausage can last for around 3 weeks in a refrigerator and within 1-2 months in a well-regulated freezer. Dethawed summer sausages are advised to be consumed immediately and also not to be refreezed.

Once your summer sausage is cooked, the accumulated moisture will make it last for a lesser period.

Outside at room temperature, your sausage will remain good only for a few hours. In a well-regulated refrigerator or freezer, they can last for a maximum of a week or two.

Keep track of the ‘best by’ dates and storage instructions to get the best use out of your sausages.

Food safety is crucial, especially when it comes to meat products. Get your protein while it’s fresh, and enjoy your summer sausage without fear of any backlash.

How to Tell if Summer Sausage is Bad?

how to tell if summer sausage is bad

The signs of a bad summer sausage differ depending on whether or not your sausage is cooked.

A cooked summer sausage often shows signs of spoilage faster than uncooked sausages. This is because of the moisture content in the sausages, making them prone to spoilage from bacteria.

When a summer sausage goes bad; what you’ll notice is discoloration because of the absence of nitrates and nitrites.

Nitrates and nitrites are preservatives added to sausages to preserve and prolong a sausage’s shelf-life. The lack of these is a sign of sausages going bad.

A bad summer sausage also gives off a rotten foul smell, which becomes more intense over time.

The texture of the sausage also becomes somewhat slimy and slippery when it’s spoilt. If your summer sausages show any of these signs, you should discard them.

So why does your sausage go bad anyway? Well, it’s probably because you’ve kept them around for more than their estimated shelf-life.

Also, if you haven’t stored your sausages properly by keeping the packets open and in a humid storage area, they’re going to go bad and fast.

To properly store sausages, make sure they’re adequately sealed in airtight packages or containers. Keep moisture out as best as possible and refrigerate them for a longer shelf-life.

does summer sausage go bad

How Long Does Summer Sausage Last? Does Summer Sausage Go Bad?

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Shelf Life
Servings 1 Serving


  • Summer sausages
  • Air-tight containers or Ziplock bags
  • Labels and markers


  • Read the guide thoroughly to learn how long it lasts.
  • Label your container with the content and date and keep track of how much you’re using!
  • Make sure to store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place (pantry or fridge).
Did you make this recipe?Mention @EatDelights or tag #eatdelights!

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