If you’ve purchased a sausage with a casing, you might notice that the casing feels slimy.
Although this can be completely natural and harmless, there are certain things to bear in mind. Ultimately, the way to deal with a slimy sausage casing depends on whether the sausage has gone bad.
If you want to find out more, look no further. In this article, I’ll discuss the appearance of slimy sausage casing and how to recognize if they’re safe or not.
What Is the White Slime on Sausage?
The white slime in sausages is often mold. However, it’s usually a ‘good’ mold.
In the fermentation process, the meat is mixed with different bacteria that protect it from harmful microorganisms, provide a safe environment, and enhance its flavor and texture.
In most cases, the white slime is precisely that: mold gained through the fermentation process. This is entirely natural, and the sausage remains safe to consume.
However, this isn’t always the case. For example, the appearance of white slime on a sausage can be a sign of spoilage. If you think the sausage has gone bad, check for the following signs:
- Smell the sausage to see if the smell has changed. If it smells funky like rotten eggs or vinegar, it’s probably gone bad, and you should discard it.
- If the sausage smells good, take a small piece of it and run it through your fingers. If the texture or color has changed, it means the meat is spoiled.
- If the meat smells and looks good, taste a small piece. If there are any changes in flavor, don’t eat it and throw it away.
Eating spoiled meat can have severe health consequences such as food poisoning or various bacterial infections. If you notice any changes in the meat you’re eating or cooking, discard it immediately.
What Does a Slimy Sausage Casing Mean?
Sausage casings enclose the meat filling and keep it safe. They can be divided into natural and artificial casings.
Natural casings are made from the intestines of different animals, such as pigs, sheep, etc. Before they’re used, natural casings must be thoroughly cleaned and processed to ensure no dangerous bacteria have remained on their surface.
Various organic food regulations approve only natural casings. In most instances, natural casings are edible.
On the other side, we have artificial casings. They’re made of collagen (usually from animals), plastics, or cellulose. If made from collagen, artificial casings are generally edible. However, be aware that plastic casings are never edible.
If you’ve noticed a slimy sausage casing of natural origin, it doesn’t mean the meat is spoiled. Natural casings are often softer and slimier than artificial alternatives. If you’re used to artificial casings, natural casings will feel slimy.
Although natural casings can sometimes feel slimy, they are also prone to spoilage. In addition, if not properly cleaned and prepared, natural casings can be infested with mold and harmful bacteria.
Therefore, make sure to always buy from a well-known manufacturer to avoid these problems and not jeopardize your health.
In some instances, a slimy sausage casing means the meat is starting to spoil, especially if you’ve kept it stored for a while. If you’ve noticed it’s getting slimier, you should throw away the meat.
If you’re not sure whether the meat is going bad or the casing is naturally slimy, you can smell, feel, and taste the meat to establish this. But it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you think something is off, it most likely is.
Is the White Slime on Sausage Safe to Eat?
If there’s a natural casing around the sausage, or if you see white mold, the meat should be safe to consume.
Unfortunately, in most cases, slime on the sausage means the meat has started to spoil. If unsure, look for other signs of spoilage.
If you’ve kept the meat for a long period, you’ll notice the difference in appearance, texture, and flavor.
All these combined with the white slime are signs the meat isn’t good anymore, and it should be thrown away.
Can Sausage With a Slimy Casing Be Salvaged?
As previously mentioned, a slimy casing doesn’t always mean the sausage is spoiled. If the meat still smells, feels, and tastes the same, you can use it.
Some people advise you to wash the casing and cook the meat thoroughly before consumption. However, if you suspect something’s wrong with the meat, you should discard it.
If the casing gets progressively slimier, it’s definitely spoiled. In this case, even when the meat looks normal, don’t try to salvage it.
Tips to Prevent Slimy Sausage Casing
Assuming that the slimy sausage casing means it’s spoiled, there are different actions you can take to prevent this.
Pay Attention to the Type of Casings
If you’ve purchased a sausage with a natural casing, there’s a risk it will spoil if not treated correctly. Hence, make sure to buy the sausage from a reliable producer.
If you’re afraid the casing will go bad and you don’t want to risk it, you can always purchase a sausage with an artificial casing.
Check the Packaging
If you’ve purchased the sausage in a store or a deli, you’ll see the details and storage instructions on the packaging. It’s important to always follow the instructions.
For example, if the manufacturer states that the sausage needs to be refrigerated, make sure you put it in the fridge. If not properly stored, the casing will become slimy, and the sausage will go bad.
Also, pay attention to the expiration dates.
Check the Meat
As mentioned earlier, some casings are naturally slimier. It’s essential to keep this in mind when purchasing the meat. If you’ve bought it slimy, it’s most likely due to the natural casing.
However, if you’ve noticed the casing has gotten slimier, it’s due to spoilage. If you’re not sure, inspect the meat to establish other changes that might be a sign of spoilage.
If you feel something is off with the casing or the meat, trust your instincts. Eating spoiled meat can be dangerous and harm your health.