If you’ve ever been to Poland, it’s very likely that you’ve had the chance to try the famous kielbasa. It is a staple food in Polish cuisine and also something that is well-loved by many people around the world. While it is similar to the traditional sausage, kielbasa has its own distinct flavor.
This smoked sausage known as kielbasa is something you won’t be able to get enough of. It is enjoyed in almost every household and available in nearly all grocery stores around the world.
However, kielbasa has a tendency to go bad easily, so always make sure it is still good to eat before you consume it.
Does Kielbasa Go Bad?
Like any other type of meat, kielbasa can go bad. It can easily spoil within a couple of hours if not stored properly. While frozen sausages can stay safe for an indefinite period, experts advise that kielbasa should be consumed within two months of freezing it.
How Do You Know Kielbasa Has Gone Bad?
Different types of kielbasa can spoil at different rates depending on their storage conditions. It can actually go bad within a couple of hours if they aren’t stored properly.
Kielbasa is a type of meat. Like every other meat, it will have some pretty obvious, tell-tale signs indicating spoilage. One can easily tell if kielbasa has gone bad by using your senses, and by being mindful of proper storage requirements and expiry dates.
If you notice any discoloration or unusual spots on the kielbasa, it is likely an indication that it has started to go bad. Sausages should be uniform in color.
Green spots or any other unusually colored spots are not normal and should be a cause for concern. Do not consume them if your sausage has taken on a strange color or has started to have strange growths on them.
Fresh kielbasa should be bouncy yet firm in texture. Poke a fork in the sausage to check its freshness. If the meat is not bouncy and if it is not firm, do not eat it.
Furthermore, if the kielbasa has a greasy or slippery outer coat, it can be a sign that microbes and pathogens have started to grow on the sausage. It is best to dispose of the sausage rather than risk a food-borne illness.
You can also smell the kielbasa. Fresh kielbasa does not have any specific smell in itself, aside from the smell of meat and the smell of the herbs used in it. If your kielbasa is giving off some putrid or off odor, do not eat it as it is a sign that the kielbasa has gone bad.
If you still aren’t sure, you can opt to take a small bite of the kielbasa to check if it is safe to consume or not. If the kielbasa is good to eat, it will taste like regular old kielbasa.
However, if it has a sour or rancid taste, it means the kielbasa has gone bad. In my opinion, only use this option as a last resort.
5. Proper Storage
Kielbasa is a fresh sausage, which means that it can only be safely stored in the fridge for 1-2 days before it becomes unsafe to consume.
If your kielbasa has been sitting in the fridge for two weeks, even if it does not show any signs of spoilage, it is best not to consume it. As it is a raw meat product, it is very important that proper storage conditions are met, otherwise, you can get very sick.
6. Expiry Dates
Being mindful of expiry dates is important when dealing with raw meat products as consuming contaminated or spoiled meat can cause serious food-borne illnesses.
Check the expiry date of the package of your kielbasa sausage. They are there for a reason. They ensure that the sausage is safe to eat and that it is consumed in its best condition flavor-wise and texture-wise.
If any unusual appearance, texture, smell, or taste is in your kielbasa or if it was improperly stored or is past its expiry date, it is best to dispose of them. Eating spoiled meat can lead to a variety of diseases. It is best to discard them rather than risk getting seriously sick.
Safe Consumption Of Kielbasa
Kielbasa is a fresh sausage and is highly perishable. It must be stored properly in the fridge or the freezer. According to the USDA, fresh sausages only last for 1-2 days in the fridge whether it is opened or unopened.
This means that kielbasa does not have a very long shelf life, and must be stored in the freezer if you wish to extend its shelf life. According to the same USDA source, it should last for 1-2 months when properly stored in the freezer.
Sometimes, kielbasa can also be found in canned form in supermarkets and grocery stores. An unopened can of kielbasa can be safely stored for a long time.
The vacuum nature of the can ensures that no microbes or moisture can attack the kielbasa causing it to go rancid.
Once opened though, this significantly shortens its shelf life as the sausages have now been exposed to air, and thus, bacteria. If you want to make it last longer, you may opt to freeze the kielbasa. Freezing it will increase its shelf life to up to two months.
However, while freezing the kielbasa, make sure that it is kept in an airtight container at the back of the freezer. By doing so, the kielbasa will not get affected by the warm air reducing the risk of contamination by microbes.
What Can Happen If Spoilt Kielbasa Is Consumed?
Kielbasa is made from meat. Eating spoilt kielbasa can lead to the same diseases caused by eating spoilt meat.
Spoilt kielbasa provides a medium for various microbes to grow in it. These microbes, when ingested, can cause severe harm to your body.
Microbes in spoilt kielbasa typically consist of Lactobacillus sakei and Brochothrix thermosphacta. Consuming contaminated sausage can cause food poisoning, including severe bouts of diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach cramps.
Is Kielbasa Healthy?
Kielbasa is usually made with pork and beef. The ratio of pork and beef depends on the recipe or method used. Kielbasa contains a good amount of vitamin B12 and Iron. These help in the formation of hemoglobin which is an essential component of red blood cells.
However, kielbasa also contains a lot of fat and sodium. The fat can lead to weight gain and high cholesterol.
Saturated fat is also very harmful to your blood vessels and can cause atherosclerosis. Furthermore, the high quantity of sodium can eventually cause hypertension.
It is best to take kielbasa in moderate portions. Eating a lot of servings of it every day can potentially disrupt your metabolism and lead to severe issues such as cardiovascular problems.
However, if you are on a low-carb diet, kielbasa is a good option to include in your diet as it is high in protein and low in carbohydrates.
Frequently Asked Questions to Does Kielbasa Go Bad?
Can Kielbasa Be Safely Consumed After the Expiry Date?
As kielbasa is a fresh sausage, it is best to consume them prior to the expiry dates on the package to ensure safety, maximum freshness, and flavor. If you want to prolong the shelf life of the sausages, you can opt to store them in the freezer.
What Spices And Herbs Are Used In Kielbasa?
Flavors such as salt, pepper, marjoram, and garlic are used in kielbasa. While the predominant meat used in it is pork, many new recipes have also introduced kielbasa in beef form. The typical kielbasa consists of 80% pork and 20% beef. Different recipes also used other spices such as rosemary, oregano, etc. Smoking the kielbasa also gives the charred flavor of the woods used in smoking the kielbasa, giving it a distinct taste.
What to Eat With Kielbasa?
Kielbasa can be enjoyed with casseroles, mac and cheese, fried onions, bigot, horseradish, etc. They taste particularly spectacular with various soups and stews or even salads. For breakfast, kielbasa can be served with eggs, hash browns, or plain toasted bread.
Conclusion to Does Kielbasa Go Bad?
Kielbasa is made with meat and can also eventually go bad. It is important to check that it does not have any unusual spots, growths or discoloration, slimy texture, or off tastes and odors. If any of these things are present, it is best to discard the kielbasa rather than risk a food-borne illness.