Can you eat smoked sausage without cooking it?

In this brief article we will answer the query, “Can you eat smoked sausage without cooking it?” We will as well explain how to tell if sausage is fully cooked and if you can eat smoked sausage without the need of cooking it. We will look at the risks of consuming undercooked sausage and food poisoning from consuming smoked sausage.

Can you eat smoked sausage without cooking it?

Yes, you can eat smoked sausage without cooking it as long as it has been cured. You can as well consume hot smoked sausage because this has been cooked to temperatures between 140 degrees Fahrenheit and 189 degrees fahrenheit and this means the sausages are fully cooked. 

However if the sausage has been cold smoked at temperatures below 85 degree fahrenheit, such sausage is still raw and unsafe for consumption.

How can you tell if smoked sausage is cooked?

The best way to tell if smoked sausage is fully cooked is by using a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature.  If the internal temperature is 160 degrees fahrenheit and above it means the sausage is fully cooked and can be consumed with no risk of food poisoning.

Another way to gauge is by checking the texture of the smoked sausage. Cooked sausage should be firm when touched but should not shrivel. Just do not cut up your sausage to determine this because if it is not well cooked the juices inside will spurt out and it will end up dry incase you wanted to cook and consume it.

IAnother method is by checking the appearance of the sausage, if it appears to be pink and runny, it requires  more cooking time. Slicing the sausages can as well reduce cooking time as there is more surface area for the heat to penetrate the sausage and cook well.

Can you consume smoked sausage without cooking it?

As earlier mentioned, it is completely safe to eat smoked sausage without any further cooking. This is because the curing process has salts that help in preserving the meat thus preventing it from any bacterial growth that can potentially result in food poisoning.

How long do you cook smoked sausage on the grill?

If the sausage has been fully smoked you can grill them for about 15 to 20 minutes until the internal temperature gets to 165 degrees fahrenheit. The same effect can be reached if the heat is reduced but you increase the cooking time.

Check for the firmness, presence of clear juices, and a taupe-color in the  meat to indicate that the sausage is fully done if you do not have a meat thermometer to check for the internal temperature.

What are the risks associated with consumption of undercooked sausage?

One of the biggest risks of consuming undercooked sausages is getting infected with trichinosis. Trichinosis occurs when you eat undercooked sausages which are infected with trichinella roundworms. 

Stomach acids and enzymes usually digest food when you eat. When you consume undercooked sausage the stomach acids and enzymes only break down the outer hard shell of the larvae which lets the adult worms free. 

The worms go on to produce larvae which get  harbored in the body tissues and especially the muscle tissues. The result is trichinosis. Trichinosis has a myriad of symptoms, these can appear 1 to 2 days after consumption of infected sausages and others can take 2 to 8 weeks to appear. Symptoms usually range from mild to severe and some of them are:

  • Diarrhea which can lead to dehydration
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain or pain in the abdomen
  • General fatigue

Later symptoms which appear 2 to 8 weeks after infection include:

  • Pain and swelling around the eyes
  • Muscle soreness
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Chills, headaches and fever
  • Rash or itchy skin

Can you get food poisoning from consuming smoked sausage?

Yes, you can definitely get food poisoning from eating smoked sausage. Sausages containing undercooked meat from sources such as beef, pork and chicken can harbor pathogenic bacteria such as E.coli

E.coli are bacteria that are normally found in the intestines of most healthy people and the majority are harmless. However there are some strains such as E.coli O157:H7 which produce toxins that can result in food poisoning. Symptoms of E.coli poisoning usually are:

  • Diarrhea, which can  range from mild & watery to being bloody.
  • Severe stomach cramps, pain and/or tenderness
  • Constant fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Some people may develop high fever

Other FAQs about Sausages that you may be interested in.

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Conclusion

In this brief article we have answered the query, “Can you eat smoked sausage without cooking it?” We have as well explained how to tell if sausage is fully cooked and if you can eat smoked sausage without the need of cooking it. We have looked at the risks of consuming undercooked sausage and food poisoning from consuming smoked sausage.

Citations

https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/trichinosis/fact_sheet.htm