Food Safety Issues/Fresh Sausage


Hi! I was recently given 10 lbs of fresh sausage that had been frozen. The sausage was brought to me (frozen) in a zipped insulated bag. i accidentally left the bag out for 24 hours. When it was noticed and opened, the sausage inside was thawed but still cold to the touch. Safe to refrigerate and cook within a day?

Hi Melisa,

Since sausage and other ground meats are the most suseptible to carrying food borne illness pathogens (if they are present they are now incorporated throughout the mixture), the recommendation is to not cook and consume raw ground meat mixtures that have been in the Danger Zone (41 to 135 degrees F) for more than 4 hours.

While there is no way of telling if the meat is still safe to cook and consume, it is possible that the meat could still make you ill.  Bacteria could have grown during the 24 hours it was out of refrigeration, and some of these bacteria are capable of producing a waste product that can make you ill and is not destroyed by cooking.  Thus the recommendation to error on the side of caution and not take a chance with meat that has been temperature abused.



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Carol Schlitt


I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.


I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc -

National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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