If you are wondering how long can you keep cooked sausage in the refrigerator, you've come to the right place. Cooked sausage can be kept in the refrigerator longer than raw sausage, so it is best to go ahead and cook it.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, fresh uncooked sausage can be kept in the refrigerator only one to two days although it can be kept in the freezer for one to two months. Once cooked, they recommend being able to keep it in the refrigerator for only three to four days (or two to three months in the freezer). Other sources say that you can keep the fresh cooked sausage in the refrigerator up to seven days if kept at 40 degrees F (which is the normal setting in both restaurant and home refrigerators). Another says up to five days for cooked Italian sausage, lightly smoked sausage, or breakfast sausage. Remember that you are to cook sausages of ground beef, pork, veal, or lamb to 160 degrees F. For those made of ground turkey or chicken, it is 165 degrees F.
The FSIS requires partially cooked sausage to state on its label such terms as "cook and serve", "cook before eating", "ready to cook", or other similar language so that the customer is aware that further cooking is necessary. Pay attention to the "use by" date as it is the final date that is recommended for the product to have peak quality. If you can't use the sausage within that time, freeze it instead.
Technically in the sausage family, hot dogs can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks unopened or for seven days in the refrigerator after opening. In the freezer the time is one to two months. Luncheon meats can also be kept unopened in the refrigerator for up to two weeks and in the freezer for one to two months, but the time in the refrigerator after opening is less than hot dogs at three to five days.
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