Sausage Handling & Storage
Sausage is Perishable
Handle carefully and store properly to preserve freshness. Use right away or freeze. Vacuum-packaged sausage can be frozen as is. Other items should be wrapped well to prevent freezer burn. Try to eliminate air from the package whether wrapping in zipper bags, freezer paper, or plastic wrap. You can freeze items for 1-2 months without affecting the flavor and quality of the sausage. Sausage frozen for more than 2 months will gradually undergo a loss of flavor and quality.
Thaw frozen sausage slowly in the refrigerator. Do not thaw at room temperature.
We recommend leaving sausage in vacuum packages until used to prolong shelf life. After opening a vacuum package, remove the remainder of the package. Rewrap sausage tightly to keep air out. If sausage is moist, wipe dry before repackaging. Some people like to let Summer Sausage age unwrapped in the refrigerator. As it ages, moisture is lost, sausage gets harder, and flavor intensifies. Proper storage, safe thawing methods, and prompt usage will eliminate most sources of sausage spoilage. If, in spite of proper handling, sausage looks or smells spoiled, use common sense and discard.
The following guidelines may be used for refrigeration of sausage:
Type of Sausage
|Fresh Link Sausage (includes Fresh Bratwurst, Fresh Italian, Fresh Kielbasa, Little Link Pork Sausage, etc.)||Use within 2 days|
|Luncheon Meats (Bologna, Beerwurst, Mortadella, etc.)||Use within 4-5 days|
|Liver Sausage||Use within 4-5 days|
|Cooked Link Sausage (Wieners, Cooked Bratwurst, etc.)||Use within 4-5 days|
|Dry/Semi-Dry Sausage (Summer Sausage, Salami)||Use within 60 days|
*In the above refrigeration chart, the suggested "use by" guideline under the refrigeration column refers to sausage that has had the vacuum packaging removed or was purchased from a store deli (i.e., sliced, chunk, bulk). With an unopened vacuum package, refer to its "sell by" date and use it before it expires.
A Note About Cheese...
We carry only natural cheeses made directly from rich whole milk. As natural cheeses, they are prone to some crumbling. We recommend allowing cheese to come to room temperature before slicing. Most cheese can be frozen in its original packaging for 6-8 weeks and still maintain good quality. Once the original packaging has been opened, remove remaining cheese, wipe any moisture off the cheese and rewrap tightly to keep air out.