Have you ever opened a pack of sausage links and been hit with a whiff of rotten eggs? Well, it’s a sign that your sausages have probably gone bad.
Sausage can smell like rotten eggs for a few reasons, the first being the obvious that spoilt pork can emit a smell of rotten eggs.
It could also be because vacuum-packed meat produces a weird odor when first opened. The smell usually has less to do with the sausages themselves and is more about the packaging.
Finally, your links may also be smelling like sulfur because of boar taint, a smell produced by some pigs.
So how can you tell why your sausage smells like rotten eggs? Here’s a rundown of what you should know and the things you need to look for.
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What Does Bad Pork Sausage Smell Like?
Learning to detect the smell of pork that has gone bad will help you figure out what’s going on with your sausages. Spoilt sausages will smell like sulfur or rotten eggs.
Admittedly, the odor will be horrendous and difficult to mistake for anything other than decay.
But nevertheless, the scent will be the first sign that something is wrong with your links.
Pork sausages that are past their sell-by date will also have a gray or green color. Fresh links have a healthy pink color.
Once that starts to change, your sausages are probably going bad.
A slimy casing is also a great indicator that you should throw out that pack of sausages.
Why Does My Sausage Smell Like Rotten Eggs?
There are three primary reasons why your sausage smells like rotten eggs. Not all of them mean that your links are tainted.
Let’s take a look at what’s causing that awful odor.
Fresh pork does not have a powerful odor.
However, if it’s improperly stored, bacteria will begin to thrive, and your sausages will take on the smell of sulfur or rotten eggs.
When this happens, discard them. They’re no longer safe to eat.
Once non-castrated male pigs reach puberty, they produce a smell known as boar taint.
Boar taint indicates the presence of two hormones – androstenone and skatole.
The first is only found in male pigs. Skatole comes from intestinal bacteria and is also found in female pigs.
Have you ever wondered why your fried bacon sometimes smells a little like sweat? That’s the androstenone.
Cooking pork enhances boar taint, and your sausages can start to smell funny.
You can tell boar taint from spoilt pork by analyzing the odor produced. While boar taint will be unpleasant, rotting pork will be downright revolting.
Unsealing vacuum-packed sausages can release a whiff of rotten eggs.
The smell usually occurs with links bought in the supermarket and not from your local butcher.
Pork packaged on a commercial scale is preserved using a method known as cryovac. Oxygen is completely removed from the pack, creating a vacuum that seals in the meat.
Unfortunately, the cryovac storage package causes the build-up of gas that produces that rotten egg smell.
However, it doesn’t mean that your sausages have gone bad.
What To Do if Your Sausage Smells Like Rotten Eggs
In some cases, rinsing your sausages will get rid of that horrid smell of rotten eggs.
But be careful when doing this because the meat might be gone off. Attempting to eat sausages that have begun to spoil can be very harmful to your health.
The first thing to do if your sausages have a strange scent is to check for spoilage.
Look at their coloring. They’re probably not edible if they have started to turn grey or have a green tint.
Another indicator of rotting pork is that they are slimy to touch. If this is happening with your sausages, you shouldn’t risk consuming them.
If you determine that the bad smell is coming from something other than spoilt pork, you can try getting rid of the scent by following these steps.
Note: The awful odor might linger even after you have completed these steps. That would mean that your sausages have gone bad and should be thrown out.
Remove the sausages from their packaging and let them air out for about 30 minutes. You’ll get a better indicator of what’s going on with your pork once the half-hour has passed.
If the odor resulted from the vacuum-sealed package, it should have mainly dissipated by now. The sausages should also begin getting back their color.
Rinse your sausages in the sink under cold, running water.
Be careful not to splash any water. You don’t want to spread germs if there are any on the pork.
Dry the links by patting them with a paper towel letting them sit at room temperature for another 30 minutes.
The sausages should now have regained their natural color and smell. If all looks good, go ahead and cook them.
How to Prevent Your Sausage From Smelling Like Rotten Eggs
Your sausages will spoil if you do not store them properly. Here’s how to prevent them from turning and attaining that rotten egg odor.
- Buy your sausages when they are fresh. When at the butcher shop, check your sausages for signs of decay. Ensure that you are purchasing links that are not on the cusp of going bad. Store-bought sausages will have a sell-by date on them that you should take note of when making your purchase.
- Whenever possible, consume your sausages on the same day you buy them.
- Eat sausages within three to five days of keeping them in the refrigerator. If you want to store them for longer than this, you should freeze them.
- You should consume links stored in the freezer within two to three months. Beyond that, the quality of your sausages begins to deteriorate.
- If possible, vacuum-seal the sausages before placing them in the deep freeze.
Understanding why your sausages smell the way they do is essential. They could smell like rotten eggs because they’re going bad or due to commercial packaging methods.
Trust your instincts. Pork that has started to turn bad will have a pretty horrendous odor.
Don’t take chances if you suspect that this is going on with your sausages. Discard them immediately.