Salami is a sandwich meat that is considered to be a cured sausage. It tends to be made from air-dried and fermented meats, such as pork or any type of game meat. It has been enjoyed for centuries because it originated from a time when people tried to find ways to make meat last throughout the winter. The question remains, however, for how long salami can last before it needs to be thrown out.
The length of time that salami can last depends on the type of salami you are storing as well as if it has been opened or not. For example, dry salami can last for approximately a month as long as it has not been opened, while it will last for a shorter amount of time once opened due to exposure to moisture in the air and sunlight.
Continue reading to learn more about how long salami can last when stored as well as what indicators reveal that your salami has gone bad.
How Long Can You Keep Salami in the Fridge?
As previously stated, the shelf life of salami is heavily dependent on a few factors. These factors include:
- The type of salami (dry or cooked)
- If it has been opened or has been left unopened
- Where you are storing the salami
Each of these can have a strong effect on the length of time your salami will last before it will need to be thrown away. One of the most common places that salami is stored is in the refrigerator.
Once you have refrigerated your salami, this should be the method you stick with for storing the meat. Bacteria tends to grow when temperatures are between 39.2°F (4°C) and 140°F (60°C).
It is recommended to keep your salami stored below these temperatures in order to prevent bacteria from growing that can cause your salami to spoil. Since most refrigerators are kept at a temperature around 37°F, it is safe to keep your salami stored here.
Dry salami, often referred to as hard salami, is salami that has gone through the curing process and has been dried, but it has not been cooked or smoked. It is this type of salami that is typically used in sandwiches or as a pizza topping.
When left in unopened packaging, dry salami can last for an almost indefinite amount of time when kept in the refrigerator. Once the packaging has been opened, however, dry salami can last for a maximum of three weeks before it will need to be thrown out.
Cooked salami is salami that has been smoked or cooked after going through the curing and drying process. This salami tends to have more moisture when compared to dry salami. This is often the salami that you will find stored in vacuum-sealed packaging when stored on shelves.
Once its packaging has been opened, cooked salami can last for approximately seven days when kept in the refrigerator. It is best to keep this salami stored in an airtight container in order to prevent excess moisture.
If you are keeping your cooked salami in unopened packaging, it is best to check the expiration date set by the manufacturer that you will find on the packaging. This is the best indication for how long your cooked salami will last before it will need to be thrown away.
How Long Can Salami Sit Out?
Similar to when salami is kept in the refrigerator, the amount of time that it can set out at room temperature depends on the type of salami and whether the packaging has been opened or not.
It is best, however, to not keep your salami sitting out at room temperature for more than two hours maximum. This is because bacteria grows at room temperature.
As previously stated, bacteria grows at a temperature between 39.2°F (4°C) and 140°F (60°C). Room temperature falls in this degree range, so salami that is left out at room temperature is likely to grow more bacteria compared to salami that has been stored in the refrigerator.
How Do You Know If Salami Has Gone Bad?
Salami tends to be made from pork or game meat, such as beef. These tend to have a shelf life, and they will expire once that shelf life has run out. It can be difficult, however, to determine if your salami has gone bad.
Luckily, there are some signs that you can look for in your salami that can help you to determine if the salami is still good to eat or if it should be thrown away.
It Has Changed Color
A change in color is one of the best ways to determine if your salami has gone bad. Salami is known to have a color that is either red or pink. It also has marbling and seasonings that are visible.
When salami has gone bad, the color will resemble more of a brown or grey coloring. This is because salami will darken in color when it has gone bad. If you find that the color of your salami has darkened or looks to be more brown or grey, it should be thrown away.
It Has an Unpleasant Odor
An unpleasant odor is another good indication that food has gone beyond its point of expiration. The distinctive smell of salami is one that invokes its seasonings and spices that were used to make the meat. The smell can also be mildly funky in nature.
Once your salami has gone bad, however, the smell of the salami will become unpleasant. The smell of expired salami has been compared to the smell of rotten eggs.
It Has Unusual Mold
Mold can be another strong indicator that your salami has gone bad. Salami tends to be made using a method of curing and preserving that will use yeasts and mold that is beneficial to prolong the shelf life.
This beneficial mold and yeast will take the form of a white coating along the outside of the salami. This mold does not indicate that your salami has gone bad.
If your salami has a white mold that is fuzzy or furry, it has gone bad. Salami that has gone bad can also develop mold that is pink, green, or grey in color. If you find this mold on your salami, it should be thrown away.
It Has an Unusual Texture
The typical texture of salami is one that is dry and firm. If you find that your salami has a texture that is more spongy or soggy, then this is a good indication that your salami has expired and should be thrown out.
Salami is a meat that is often used in sandwiches or as a good topping for pizza. Salami is a food that you do not want to leave out at room temperature, as it will only be good for a few hours when stored in this manner.
It is best to keep salami in unopened packaging in the refrigerator. This can guarantee that your salami will last for a long time. Once the packaging has been opened, however, it can be kept in the refrigerator for approximately three weeks maximum.
If you do not know whether or not your salami is good to eat or not, you can look for indicators that can tell you if you can eat the salami or if it should be thrown away. These indicators can include a change in color and texture, a change in odor, or the growth of unusual mold.