Vacuum-sealing meat has multiple benefits. It prevents unwanted flavors from seeping in, keeps the aroma, and blocks air that can spoil the meat, thus representing an excellent packaging solution. But, does vacuum sealed salami need to be refrigerated?
The answer largely depends on whether the salami has been cut or not. This article will discuss everything you need to know about storing vacuum-sealed salami.
Table of Contents
Should You Refrigerate Vacuum-Sealed Salami?
Yes and no. If you’ve purchased a whole vacuum-sealed salami, you don’t have to keep it refrigerated. Instead, keep it in your pantry or any other room that doesn’t get a lot of light and isn’t too hot.
If you’ve bought sliced vacuum-sealed salami, it’s best to refrigerate it. Namely, the vacuum seal doesn’t prevent harmful bacteria from growing.
In addition, anaerobic organisms don’t require oxygen to develop, which is why you should always keep the sliced meat in the fridge.
Depending on the temperature, sliced vacuum-sealed salami can remain outside the refrigerator for several hours. After that, you need to put it in the fridge.
Keep in mind that once you open the package, the air will penetrate the meat.
Can You Keep Vacuum Sealed Salami at Room Temperature?
If you have a whole, unopened, vacuum-sealed salami, you can keep it at room temperature. Dry salami can be kept at room temperature even when not vacuum-sealed because of the specific manufacturing process.
First, the salami is cured with salt, nitrites/nitrates, and different spices. Then, it’s left to dry for at least several weeks. This process prevents the development of harmful bacteria.
When it’s unsealed, salami can be kept at room temperature for around six weeks.
The vacuum seal extends this period, so you can keep the whole vacuum-sealed salami outside for several months.
When purchasing, always check for the ‘use by’ or ‘sell by’ dates on the packaging.
Sliced vacuum-sealed salami shouldn’t be kept at room temperature because the vacuum seal doesn’t protect against anaerobic bacteria.
Can You Freeze Vacuum-Sealed Salami?
Freezing meat is another effective way to preserve it for an extended period. For example, if you’ve realized you won’t eat the salami within the expiration dates on the packaging, you can freeze it.
Vacuum-sealed salami placed in the freezer will remain safe indefinitely, even after the stated ‘best by’ dates. In addition, since it’s vacuum-sealed, salami will maintain its aroma.
If you’ve opened the vacuum seal, you can still opt for freezing the meat. The salami will still remain safe indefinitely.
However, keep in mind that the meat will start losing its quality and flavor after around 1-2 months, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The quality of the meat can be jeopardized by numerous bacteria. That’s why it’s essential to store it properly and follow the instructions on the packaging.
The ‘use by’ date states the last day when the salami will be of top quality. That’s also the last day for freezing the salami. Of course, the meat may not go bad right after, but the manufacturer doesn’t guarantee its quality after that date.
Additionally, always keep an eye on spoilage signs. As previously mentioned, even vacuum-sealed meat can be infected by harmful bacteria.
Any changes in taste, smell, or appearance could indicate that the salami has gone bad. In that case, you should discard it immediately.
Vacuum sealing salami helps preserve its taste and prevents unwanted flavors from affecting the meat. Another role of the vacuum seal is that it extends the storage life.
A whole vacuum-sealed salami can be kept at room temperature, while the cut one needs to be refrigerated. You can also opt for freezing it, which will keep the salami safe indefinitely.
If you wondered whether vacuum-sealed salami needs to be refrigerated, I hope this article provided the answer you were looking for.