Can you eat Vienna sausages raw?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you eat Vienna sausages raw?” and discuss what is Vienna sausages raw?

Can you eat Vienna sausages raw?

No, you cannot eat Vienna sausages raw. It’s not a good idea to consume them uncooked. You should avoid it at all costs, particularly if the sausages are industrially produced Vienna sausages. Wurstel may be eaten safely if you boil or roast them in a skillet, but avoid overcooking them to prevent damaging your health.

Vienna sausages are cooked products and they do not need to be cooked again (5). Instead, it is recommended to be heated to be safely consumed (4). According to studies, lactic acid bacteria grow on the surface of the sausage and produce undesirable sensory attributes, such as sour aroma and taste. Cooking sausages during manufacturing destroys lactic acid bacteria on the surface of the sausages. However, sausages are recontaminated with spoilage lactic acid bacteria mainly during the processing stages after cooking. During the chilling process, product contamination apparently results from exposure to airborne microorganisms. Workers and equipment are among the most likely sources of contamination during packaging and slicing. Spoilage strains originating from raw material may spread to other areas in the production facility (i.e., chill, slicing, and packaging rooms) via the air, workers and equipment (3).

Excess consumption of sodium chloride (NaCl), the main source of sodium in the human diet, is associated with increased blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and some types of cancer. Processed food contributes to approximately 80% of sodium consumed by people in industrialized countries (1).

What kind of sausages is Vienna?

Vienna sausages are thin, parboiled sausages that are usually made of pig, beef, or horse meat and have a lot of water in them. This German-made culinary item is popular in the northern European nations. 

Vienna (hot dog) sausages are defined by their characteristic cylindrical shape with hemispherical ends and by the stable meat emulsion that is formed. Emulsions are a two-phase colloidal system, consisting of 2 immiscible liquids, where 1 liquid is dispersed as small particles in another liquid of a different composition, usually it comprises an aqueous phase and a hydrocarbon phase. Vienna sausages are small caliber sausages made from meat and fat which are finely chopped into a homogenous batter and filled into a casing. Thereafter it is smoked and cooked. Vienna sausages, like most cooked sausages, are fully cooked to an internal temperature of 70°C and then chilled rapidly to prevent microbial spoilage. Typically, in an emulsified meat sausage sodium chloride is added to extract the salt soluble myofibrillar proteins, namely actin and myosin, which allows the proteins to surround  the fat globules and bind water to form an emulsified batter. These salt soluble proteins in meat contribute to the characteristic structure found in emulsified sausages, which contributes to the texture and mouthfeel of the sausage (2).

Particularly in Italy, where it has developed its own distinct flavor and style, it is regarded as a sort of sausage. The raw materials used to make the artisan Vienna sausages, or wurstel, in Italy are now being marketed as a legitimate traditional sausage on the market.

In English, the term “wurstel” may be translated as “sausages,” and it’s popular in northern Europe, where sausages are a common dish. The Wiener würstchen and Frankfurter würstchen are two distinct types of wurst (or Frankfurter sausage). 

These kinds of sausages, which are usually served with mustard, ketchup, or some other form of sauce, are known as “hot dogs” in the United States. There are two distinct types of wursts: the Vienna wurst, which is shorter, and the Frankfurter wurst, which is longer but solely made with swine flesh. 

Traditional German and Austrian cuisine has influenced Italians to make artisanal wurstel throughout the years. Vienna sausages, together with beer and sauerkraut, are the most prevalent street foods in Austrian and German towns, respectively.

High-quality sausages, despite many people’s belief that Vienna sausages are industrially harmful items, are the current trend. Apulian salumi made by our salumificio Santoro may be purchased online at our e-store. 

We’ve developed our own line of artisan Vienna sausages that are rich in protein, low in fat, and produced with only the finest ingredients from right here in our own backyard. If you’d like to see how it’s created and how to consume it, we’ll show you.

Is there a specific recipe for Vienna sausages?

Vienna sausages are made from swine, bovine, or equine meat, which is then mixed with ice, hard hog fat, and legal spices such as pepper and paprika. Cuts and quantities of meat must be carefully balanced to ensure the final product’s success. The best and most high-quality wurst requires a ratio of 40% to 50% pork, 20% to 30% ice, and 20% to 30% fat. 

The amount of chicken or turkey wurstel might vary depending on the spices, like sauces and cheese, that is used. As a result, lower-priced Vienna sausages are manufactured from lower-quality meat and processed in an accurate manner.

The process of producing wurst is critical in determining the product’s quality characteristics. Quality wurst is usually not subjected to a lot of processing, as long as it is made using the best meat available. However, there are a few basic steps that may be used in the manufacturing of Vienna sausages.

Selection of raw materials and components for Vienna sausages, preparation of cut meats, and storage at low temperatures are all important factors in ensuring the sausages’ quality. The sequence in which the meats are processed by particular machines: Seasoning and other ingredients are also included in the mix.

Creation of a single, consistent item.

  • Depending on the quality of the sausages, the filling is either natural or synthetic.
  • Vienna sausages are smoked in a beech wood oven throughout the cooking process.
  • It takes at least 12 hours for the Vienna sausages we cook to rest in our basements, where the temperature is kept below freezing.
  • Remove the casing by peeling it back and forth.
  • Vacuum-sealed bags, much like the ones we see on the market.
  • Pasteurization, a method in which some wurstel vacuum containers are treated with mid-heat to improve shelf-life even at temperatures greater than 0-4°C, is occasionally used after the packing process.

Vienna sausages may be eaten out of the can, right?

In addition to beef and pig, canned Vienna sausages also include mechanically separated chicken, natural flavors, sugar, and salt. sodium nitrite (a preservative). If you prefer to consume the sausages straight from the can, there are a variety of ways to include them in your cooking.

Canning of meat requires special equipment and careful quality control, since most meat products are low acid foods and must receive an adequate heat treatment to destroy Clostridium botulinum (6).

It’s up to you how you eat it.

With onions and garlic, I prefer to brown the slices. Then, enjoy your meal with a loaf of bread. Alternatively, you may slice them up and sauté in a small can of tomato sauce, along with some green peppers and onions as well as some garlic and spice, before adding the rice and water to a rice cooker. Corn is an option here as well.

To learn more about eating Vienna sausages raw click here

Other FAQs about Sausages that you may be interested in.

Can you eat summer sausage casing?

Can you eat summer sausage raw?

Can you eat the casing on ring bologna?


In this article, we answered the question “Can you eat Vienna sausages raw?” and we discussed what is Vienna sausages raw?


  1. Dos Santos, Bibiana A., et al. Is there a potential consumer market for low‐sodium fermented sausages?. J Food Sci, 2015, 80, S1093-S1099.
  2. Bessa, Leah W., et al. An exploratory study into the use of black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) larvae in the production of a Vienna-style sausage. Meat Muscle Biol, 2019, 3, 1.
  3. Korkeala, Hannu J., and K. Johanna Björkroth. Microbiological spoilage and contamination of vacuum-packaged cooked sausages. J food protec, 1997, 60, 724-731.  
  4. FOOD SAFETY For Pregnant Women, Their Unborn Babies, and Children Under Five. 2022. US Food and Drug Administration. 
  5. Sausages and Food Safety. United States Department of Agriculture. 2013.
  6. Pearson, A. M., and F. W. Tauber. Canned meat formulations. Processed meats. Springer, Dordrecht, 1984. 307-328.

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