What do you do with sliced salami left out overnight? Indeed, many people have found themselves in this situation, unsure what to do.
Perhaps you bought some delicious salami from a deli and forgot to put it back in the fridge. Or maybe you made a charcuterie board for a party and went to bed after the party without stashing it in the fridge first.
Understandably, you don’t immediately want to throw it away because it might be waste. But it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Dry and cured sausage like salami requires a specific type of storage if it’s going to last longer. Unfortunately, if the salami stays out overnight, it’s no longer safe to eat. To avoid future mistakes, here’s how to safely store salami in a pantry and the fridge.
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Does Sliced Salami Have to Be Refrigerated?
According to USDA guidelines, dry sausages, such as salami, have a shelf-stable life.
Essentially, that means that unopened salami can be stored outside the fridge, preferably in a pantry, for six weeks. Even so, the salami shouldn’t be stored in a humid environment and requires some airflow.
However, if you put unopened salami in the fridge, it can stay there indefinitely. After a year, it might lose some flavor and texture, but it will still be safe for consumption.
Sliced salami is another situation altogether. Once you cut into the protective casing of the salami, it needs to go back to the fridge as soon as possible.
Potentially harmful bacteria have free reign once you pierce the casing, and you can never be too careful. Sliced salami can be stored for up to three weeks in the refrigerator.
Don’t mind the white fuzzy mold outside the case, though. It’s there to protect the salami from these very elements in the first place.
How Long Can Sliced Salami Stay Unrefrigerated?
Once you slice the salami, it shouldn’t sit for more than two hours at room temperature. So, when it comes to sliced salami left out overnight, eating it is not recommended.
The salami might look and smell the same, but you cannot be sure whether it has been contaminated. You can choose to put it back into the fridge and monitor the situation, but ultimately, the safest option is to throw it out.
It’s important to point out that dry sausages, in general, are not cooked and, as such, are best avoided by older adults, pregnant women, children, and people with weakened immune systems.
What Happens if You Eat Bad Salami?
Unfortunately, eating bad salami can lead to food poisoning. In addition, consuming contaminated salami can cause nausea, fever, diarrhea, and body chills.
That’s why it’s essential to learn how to recognize sliced salami that has gone bad.
A color change is the first good indicator. If you see any black, brown, or green spots, don’t eat the salami (white fuzzy mold, however, is okay to eat – click here to learn more).
Your sense of smell might also warn you that the salami has gone bad. A rotten egg smell or something similarly funky means it’s time to throw out the sliced salami.
Whether you buy pre-sliced salami or cut open the sausage at home, make sure to put it in the fridge as soon as possible.
Unopened salami has an excellent shelf life and can even be safe for consumption when stored outside the fridge. However, once the protective casing is cut, so is the time you must eat the entire salami.