Does Salami Need to Be Refrigerated?

Salami has a dedicated fan base. It’s delicious, it lasts long, and it’s a great addition to a sandwich. To extend the life of your favorite treat, ask yourself, does salami need to be refrigerated?

The answer is both yes and no. It depends on the type of salami and whether it has been opened.

This article will discuss how and where to store salami, along with essential guidelines and safety measures you should know about.

does salami need to be refrigerated

Do You Need to Refrigerate Salami?

Dry Salami

Dry salami is a sausage cured by adding salt, sugar, nitrates/nitrates, and spices. It’s left to dry and ferment for several weeks. The additives from the curing process have a significant role in preserving the meat.

It helps dehydrates it, inhibits harmful bacteria growth, and creates a safe environment for consumption. Unopened dry salami doesn’t have to be refrigerated, but opened salami should be placed in the fridge.

Cooked Salami

Cooked salami, or salami cotto, is a sausage that was cooked or smoked. Since it wasn’t fermented, it needs to be stored differently than dry salami.

According to the USDA guidelines, cooked salami needs to be refrigerated at all times. It can sit outside the fridge for a few hours if you’re using it for cooking or serving it. However, keeping it out for prolonged periods increases your risk of potential spoilage.

When it comes to sliced salami, the recommendations for handling are a little different – click here to learn more.

Does Salami Go Bad if Not Refrigerated?

Dry Salami

Due to a specific manufacturing process involving curing and drying, dry salami won’t go bad if not refrigerated and unopened. It can stay out of the fridge for several weeks. However, if you’ve purchased a package of cut salami, you should put it in the refrigerator right away. The same goes for opened salami.

Cooked Salami

Cooked salami should be kept in the fridge at all times. It can sit outside for a few hours, but the general rule is to keep it refrigerated since this type of salami isn’t fermented and cured.

salami slices on charcuterie board with fork tomatoes cucumber and egg

How Long Can Salami Be Unrefrigerated?

Dry Salami

According to the USDA recommendations, dry salami can be kept unrefrigerated for up to six weeks if it’s unopened. After that, it’s recommended to keep it in the fridge to preserve the flavor and freshness. If unopened, dry salami can be kept in the refrigerator indefinitely.

If you’ve opened dry salami, it’s not safe to keep it unrefrigerated. Also, if you’ve purchased cut salami, you should place it in the fridge right away.

Cooked Salami

Cooked salami can be unrefrigerated for about two hours. After that, you risk spoilage.

How Long Does Salami Last in the Fridge Opened?

Dry Salami

As previously mentioned, you should place dry salami in the fridge once you open it. According to the USDA safety recommendations, when it’s opened, salami can last for three weeks in the refrigerator.

Cooked Salami

Both unopened and opened cooked salami need to be refrigerated. When it’s unopened, cooked salami can last in the fridge for two weeks. When it’s opened, cooked salami will be good for seven days.


How can I tell if my salami has gone bad?

Look for off-odors, mold growth, or a slimy texture. If in doubt, throw it out.

Is mold on dry salami harmful?

Some mold growth on dry salami is natural and is part of the curing process. However, any mold that is not white and powdery should be a cause for concern.

Can I freeze salami to extend its shelf life?

Yes, salami can be frozen. However, its texture may slightly change upon thawing. Ensure it’s well-sealed to prevent freezer burn.

In Summary

So, does salami need to be refrigerated? The answer depends on the type of salami and whether it’s opened or not.

It’s important to always follow storage rules if you are a salami aficionado. They ensure your salami is safe to consume and retain the same texture and flavor.

The rules of refrigeration can vary slightly if the salami is vacuum-sealed – click here to learn more!

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