If you were to ask most people whether or not they’d eat sausages that are one day out of date, they would likely tell you that they’d do the sniff test and appearance test first. These are known as sensory evaluations.
Providing your sausages haven’t started to change colour or appearance in any way, and they still smell as they did before they went out of date, they are probably fine to consume.
You should always pay attention to expiry dates or best before dates, but you should also remember that those dates are often shorter than they could be, to keep consumers safe.
Food producers don’t want the bad press associated with making people unwell with their food, nor do they want their food products to make people physically sick.
What Happens to Sausages When They Go Off?
When sausages and other meat goes off (turns bad), they often change colour, texture, smell and appearance.
Sausages will turn moist or even slimy when they are starting to turn bad, and they will also look different, although it might not be very obvious what has changed at first.
As well as turning moist, the skin of some sausages can dry out and become tight as they start to turn bad.
The colour will start to change, from the pink-red-brown (depending on the type of sausages) to a bleak grey-brown shade. You may also notice a greenish-blue tint.
The sniff test will often give away how safe your sausages are, too. If they smell different to how they should, or they smell almost sour in nature, it’s time to dispose of them.
What Will Happen if I Eat Out-of-Date Sausages?
If the sausages are only one or two days out of date, you’re probably not going to feel any ill effects, provided you checked the appearance, texture, and smell of them before cooking them up.
If the sausages are bad when you cook and eat them, you may start to feel rather unpleasant, with symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, stomach cramps, a fever, diarrhoea, body aches, and more.
These are classic signs of what is commonly known as food poisoning. Salmonella is one of the most common forms of food poisoning, but these could also be a symptom of E. Coli or staphylococcus.
What’s the Best Way to Store Sausages So They Last?
The best way to store sausages if you want to eat them fairly quickly, is in the refrigerator. You can also store them in the freezer, but you will need to allow for thawing when the time comes to eat them.
Airtight containers and airtight freezer/Ziplock bags can be used to store sausages, both fresh and frozen.
You should ensure that you write the date of freezing/purchase on the container or bag, to ensure that you don’t eat them after they are safe to consume.
How Long Do Sausages Last in the Fridge?
When kept in an appropriate container or airtight bag, fresh sausages will last for approximately two days in the fridge.
You can also take a look at the eat-by date on the packaging. Sometimes, this will be a few days—up to a week.
How Long Do Sausages Last in the Freezer?
When sausages are stored in an appropriate airtight container, sausages will last for up to three or four months in the freezer.
Once taken out of the freezer and thawed, you should aim to cook and eat the sausages within two days.
Kim is a writer with more than a decade of experience, and a food enthusiast. When she’s not spending her time writing about her favourite dishes, you can find her in the cake aisle of her local supermarket, or making a mess in the kitchen.