How to Tell if Italian Sausage is Bad?

Whether you’re at the store or out in a restaurant, knowing how to tell if Italian sausage is bad is an integral part of cooking. While you can’t necessarily smell the meat, you can get a good idea of whether a particular brand is terrible. For example, if it has a sour smell or is brown or sticky, that might signify that it’s gone wrong.


Italian Sausage Nutrition Facts

nutrition facts of italian sausage

What Is Italian Sausage?

In North America, “Italian sausage” usually refers to a pork sausage style, and the sausage is frequently seasoned with fennel as the significant seasoning. However, many sausages are produced in Italy, many of which are distinct from the foodstuff above. The three most frequent “Italian sausage” types sold in supermarkets are spicy, sweet, and mild. The addition of hot red pepper flakes to the spice blend of the former is the fundamental distinction between hot and mild, and the addition of sweet basil in the sweet version distinguishes it from the mild version.

How To Tell If Italian Sausage Is Bad?

There are some easy signs of a bad sausage:

  • You can check if the sausage is gray or slimy and has a slimy coat or a sour odor. A healthy uncooked sausage will be pink, smell herbs, and won’t have that smell.
  • A rotten sausage will have an unpleasant odor, and you should throw it away. If you can smell the meat, this is a red flag as the meat inside has dried out.
  • You can tell if the sausage is bad by looking at it. Look for green or black spots. If it’s slippery, it isn’t good. Don’t buy a yellow or green sausage – these are red flags.
  • This is also a sign that it’s past its prime. A yellowish-brown color is a sign of sour sausage. If you find that your Italian pork is yellow or brown, it’s probably not good.

Some Additional Factors

  • Another warning sign of bad Italian sausage is its color. If it’s still pink inside, then it’s probably too old. The color is often caused by salt. While salt helps the meat retain its color, it can cause it to go off faster than fresh sausages.
  •  A brown sausage is a sure sign that the meat has gone off, and this is a sign that it’s not fresh, and the color is not uniform.
  • Another way to tell if Italian sausage is bad is to examine it. If the meat is green, it means that it’s overcooked. A brown-colored sausage will be too dry and will be mushy. The meat should smell like cooked sausage and not have a stinky smell.

If a sausage has a sour or sulfuric odor, it’s most likely bad. It’s also best to avoid buying the sausage if it has green or black spots. Similarly, if the meat is black or green, it could be bad. A brown or black sausage might be contaminated with bacteria. So, it’s best to avoid them. This way, you’ll know for sure if the Italian sausage is still safe to eat or not.

Is Sausage Healthy For You?

italian sausage

A blend of spices, including fennel, anise, and garlic, distinguishes Italian sausage. This dish is frequently served as a side dish with a variety of pasta, or it can be stuffed inside a hoagie bun with peppers and onions. In terms of nutrition, Italian sausage has both positive and negative aspects. You’ll be able to make an informed judgment about how this meal fits into your everyday diet if you know these.


The primary ingredient in Italian sausage is pork. The sausage represents the high-fat content of this sort of meat. A single 83-gram link includes over 23 grams of fat, with 8 grams of saturated fat. This sort of fat raises cholesterol levels, which increases the risk of heart disease. Saturated fat should account for less than 7% of daily caloric intake. This equates to 14 grams if you consume 2,000 calories per day. More than half of this quantity is contained in a single Italian sausage link.


Cholesterol is produced naturally in the liver and aids in creating cells and the release of hormones. Dietary cholesterol in excess has the same effect on the body as saturated fat. Each 83-gram link of Italian sausage contains 47 mg of cholesterol. The recommended daily dose for ordinarily healthy persons is 300 milligrams, while for people with heart problems, it is 200 milligrams. To keep saturated fat and cholesterol levels low, look for a low-fat version of Italian sausage. Also, look for sausage made with ground turkey, which has a lower fat and cholesterol content.

Protein and Carbohydrates

Pork, for example, has a high protein level and a low carbohydrate load. One 83-gram link of Italian sausage has approximately 16 grams of protein and 3.5 grams of carbohydrates. As a result, the sausage is suitable for a low-carb diet. Protein consumption is advised at 56 grams for men and 46 grams for women. Pairing the sausage with onions will keep the carb level low if you’re on a low-carb diet.


Water retention is caused by a high salt diet, exacerbating high blood pressure. People without high blood pressure tend to retain water after consuming high-sodium foods, temporarily raising blood pressure. Italian sausage has a high sodium level due to the addition of salt. More than 1,000 milligrams are contained in a single 83-gram link. Healthy adults should consume 2,300 milligrams, whereas people with high blood pressure should consume fewer than 200 milligrams. To keep the salt content low, look for a reduced-sodium variant.


Iron is required for the formation of myoglobin and hemoglobin. These compounds help distribute oxygen throughout the body, allowing you to perform your functional activities to their full potential. Each 83-gram link of Italian sausage has roughly 1.2 milligrams of sodium. For men and women aged 51 and up, an iron intake of 8 milligrams per day is suggested. Women between the ages of 19 and 50 should consume 18 milligrams each day. To construct a high-iron supper, serve Italian sausage with lentils as a side dish.

Tips For Storing Pork Sausage

Proper storage is essential for any type of meat to last as long as possible. Here are the most essential hints for keeping pig sausages:

  • Before putting the meat in the refrigerator or freezer, make sure it’s tightly wrapped in butcher paper or a plastic zipper-lock bag. The sausages oxidize and go rotten when exposed to air and moisture.
  • To extend the shelf life of your sausages, you can use heavy-duty aluminum foil, plastic wrapping, or a freezer bag in addition to the original store paper.
  • If the sausages are kept in the refrigerator, styrofoam packing will be enough; however, a tighter wrap is preferred if the sausages are kept in the freezer.
  • In this scenario, it’s advisable to discard the Styrofoam packaging and replace it with a tight-fitting plastic wrap sealed against air and moisture.
  • According to USDA standards, all sausages, except those that come dried, are biodegradable and should be stored in the freezer or refrigerator.
  • Similarly, the American Meat Association recommends freezing sausages that will not be consumed within one to two days as soon as possible to maintain the most excellent meat quality.

If you want to freeze pig sausages, keep in mind that the finest quality will last for one to two months, after which they will last for up to six months. Uncooked sausages should be kept in the refrigerator for one to two days, while cooked sausages should be kept for three to four days.


If the meat is gray or pinkish, it’s likely wrong. Cut it off and discard it if this is the case. If it’s gray or pink, it’s probably gone bad. A sour-smelling sausage isn’t a good sign. But if it’s slimy, it’s also time to throw it out. If it’s slimy, it’s time to replace it with a fresh one.