If you're faced with smelly turkey sausage you bought from the grocery, you might wonder if it's safe to eat. We did the research to find out if turkey sausage that smells like eggs is safe to consume. In this post, we share answers and ways to prevent this from happening.
Your turkey sausage may have an egg-like odor because it has spoiled. Turkey sausage is made up of ground turkey, and it can spoil a day or two after thawing.
Other reasons for an egg-like odor include not cooking the sausages soon enough after thawing, air exposure, and an improper storage temperature.
There are several reasons why your turkey sausage may smell like eggs, but there are also ways for you to prevent it from happening. The key is in the details! If you'd like to learn more about this, read on.
What Makes Turkey Sausage Smell Like Eggs?
Turkey sausage is made of ground turkey, and when you buy pre-made sausage from the grocery, you'll most likely end up refrigerating it for a few days to a week.
When this is the case, your turkey sausage could end up exceeding its expiration date and spoil. When you thaw the sausage, it may have an egg-like odor.
Besides that, there are other reasons for the odor, and we cover them here.
Not Cooking The Sausage Soon Enough
Sausage made of turkey, pork, or beef has a lifespan of one to two days if kept refrigerated.
If you keep the sausage longer than that, it could end up smelling like eggs and going bad. When you don't cook your turkey sausage one to two days after purchasing it, the sausage may spoil.
Suppose you only want to cook a few sausages from a pack of five. If you don't place the remaining sausages in an airtight container soon after you open the package, they will be exposed to air.
Having air-exposed meat is a no-no because it may lead to bacterial growth. By placing the remaining turkey sausages in an air-tight container, you're preventing air from making contact with meat and potentially causing it to go bad.
Cooked turkey sausages kept in an air-tight container should last three to five days in the refrigerator. Frozen sausage should last up to three months in the freezer.
Improper Storage Temperature
Keeping your frozen goods in the freezer is normal practice. Make sure that your turkey sausages are kept at 0°F or below to keep them frozen. A temperature change may make your sausage smell bad and eventually spoil.
If your turkey sausage smells like sulfur, it may be because the sausage has been vacuum sealed. Considering that turkey sausage is made of processed meat, this could likely be the problem.
Don't worry; it's normal for turkey sausage to smell that way. The sulfur smell will go away once you cook the sausage.
However, you should look for the signs we cover below to identify whether you have spoiled turkey sausage. Otherwise, you could mistake spoiled sausage from sausage that smells like sulfur because of how it's been packaged.
Is It Safe To Consume Turkey Sausage That Smells Like Eggs?
The quick answer is no. A smelly turkey sausage means that it has gone bad. If you eat it, you may experience food poisoning.
Just like any poultry, a bad batch of turkey sausage is filled with pathogens like E. coli and salmonella. You should toss the sausage in the trash right away.
How To Identify Bad Turkey Sausage
There are other ways to identify bad turkey sausage, in case you're not sure if the smell is really off.
Look At the Color
Turkey sausage that is stored well will have a slight pinkish color because fresh ground turkey is naturally pinkish.
If the sausage is bad, the color will look dull and brownish. Although this isn't the easiest way to identify bad turkey sausage, it is a clear sign.
Read this post "What Color Should Ground Turkey Be When Cooked?" to learn more about the color of good ground turkey.
Take Note of the Texture
Feeling the texture of turkey sausage is another way to know whether it has gone bad. If it has a slimy texture, it's probably spoiled. A good batch of turkey sausage should not feel slimy. Do not think twice, and immediately throw it away.
This can also happen with turkey bacon. You can learn more about it in this post: Why Is My Turkey Bacon Slimy? [And How To Tell If Yours Has Gone Bad]'
Check The Expiration Date
Ignoring the expiration date is a common reason why turkey sausage ends up smelling like eggs.
Technically, raw sausage made of pork, turkey, and chicken should be consumed after one to two days in the fridge, which is why they have a short shelf-life or fridge-life.
Before purchasing turkey sausage, look for the expiration date to know when you should consume it.
Look For Signs of Mold
You can also check for signs of mold in raw turkey sausage. If you see black or white areas of mold on the sausage, you should throw it away.
How To Properly Defrost Turkey Sausage
Since turkey sausage is made up of ground turkey meat, it should be frozen and thawed in the correct way to prevent it from going bad before consumption. Here's how to properly defrost the sausage.
Transfer From Freezer To Refrigerator
Defrosting the sausage in the fridge is the best way to thaw it. This method will ensure the best quality.
Note that by doing this, the sausage will thaw gradually. The process is slow. You should defrost the sausage the night before you cook it.
Use A Microwave
Microwave thawing is a quick defrosting method. But this approach could heat parts of the turkey sausage to the point where bacteria begin to grow. Make sure to cook the meat thoroughly after defrosting it in a microwave.
Note: You should never put meat back in the freezer or refrigerator after microwaving it. You should only put sausage back in the refrigerator once it's thoroughly cooked.
Bathe In Cold Water
If you want to defrost your sausage fast while maintaining quality, let it soak in cold water.
This method is faster than defrosting the sausage in the refrigerator. You'll need to replace the water every half an hour or so to keep the temperature cold enough.
What If You're Not Sure?
If you're not sure whether you have bad turkey sausage, don't think twice about throwing it away. If you cook and eat the sausage, you risk giving yourself and anyone else who consumes the sausage food poisoning.
Even if the turkey sausage is processed, it can still go bad. Remember that spoiled meat is dangerous to consume and can cause diarrhea, fever, and more severe symptoms.
If you're at all weirded by the smell of your turkey sausage, get rid of it.
If your turkey sausage smells like eggs, it may be spoiled. Note that a vacuum seal may also cause the sausage to have a weird smell, so make sure to look for other indicators of spoilage.
If you freeze your sausage properly and do not exceed the expiration date, the sausage will be fine. But if you're unsure about the sausage, you shouldn't cook it—just throw it away. You don't want to risk consuming spoiled meat.
You can prevent spoilage from happening when you freeze and thaw sausage properly. Avoid exposing it to the air and to changing temperatures, and you will have delicious, edible turkey sausage.
We hope that you have learned something new from this post!