Fresh sausage is the best sausage.
At Papa Cantella’s, fresh premium sausage is our bread and butter. Our clients appreciate our commitment to freshness, and we believe people can taste a difference. Fresher meat, fresher herbs, fresher spices…they all come together to create the best sausage blends possible.
We get a lot of questions about how long fresh sausages last in both the refrigerator and the freezer. You can bet that at any given time, we’ve all got several pounds of sausage stored at home! Here’s what you need to know.
How Long Does Raw Sausage Last in the Refrigerator?
We always refer to the FDA when it comes to food safety standards. They’ve done the research and collected the data to know what’s safe and what’s not.
First, know what the “Sell By” date, and the “Best By” or “Use By” dates mean on your sausage. They are not an indication of safety…they’re simply a measure of best quality. To ensure delicious sausages stay delicious, stores usually sell them by their Sell By date and consumers are urged to cook or freeze them by their Best By or Use By date. If a sausage is past it’s Best By/Use By date, it hasn’t necessarily “gone bad,” it just might not taste as fresh as it once did.
Once you bring fresh sausage home, the FDA says you need to cook it or freeze it within 1 to 2 days. That’s a little stricter than we usually tend to be at home – if we buy it on Monday, we’re usually fine to eat it on Thursday! – but use your best judgement. If raw meat ever smells off or has an unusually slimy texture, throw it out.
Remember that opening fresh sausages’ packaging hastens spoilage. The longer your sausage stays sealed in its production packaging, the longer a window you typically have to use it.
What About Leftovers?
Once you cook fresh sausage, the FDA says you should eat the leftovers within 3 to 4 days. Remember to put away cooked sausage as soon as possible after it cools to keep bacteria at bay, and always to keep your refrigerator cold. When you reheat cooked sausage, you want to ensure you heat it back up to 160-165 degrees internally.
How Long Does Fresh Sausage Last in the Freezer?
Once you put fresh sausage in the freezer it becomes frozen sausage. And that’s okay! Frozen sausage might differ slightly texturally but it should taste almost just as good as fresh sausage if stored properly. Fresh sausage can safely be stored in the freezer for 1-2 months, tightly sealed. Pre-cooked sausage can be frozen for 3-4 months safely.
When defrosting frozen sausage, put the package in the refrigerator 24 hours before you want to use it. Never defrost meat products on the counter or in the sink; bacteria could quickly grow.
Look for Papa C’s!
Still have questions about storing fresh sausage? Ask at your grocery store’s meat counter! While you’re at it, have the butcher point you towards the Papa Cantella’s Fresh Sausages.
You’ll taste the difference.