Help me save my sausage!
November 25, 2008 8:24 PM   Subscribe

Two parts: If I have a big piece of dry summer sausage that's developed mould, do I have to throw it away? And, how do I properly store it?

I bought a bunch of sausage from a place at a huge fair, same place I buy from every year. I got a big summer sausage that was wrapped in a sort of fabric, rather than a typical sausage skin.

Soonafter I cut a piece off and I'd been eating it now and again since, but I guess I'd left it in the cupboard (in a ziploc, with the fabric rolled down to wherever I had cut it) for about a week.

Today I took it out and started swearing because there were two inch-sized blooms of mould, one on the fabric about a half way down and one where the fabric meets the cut end.

So I pull off the whole fabric thing, and cut off about an inch of the sausage to get rid of the mould. (I know this might all sound disgusting, but oldschool salami is always always made with lots of mould on it, it's just how it's done).

My question is, should I throw away the whole thing? I'd love to not have to do that. Secondly, how can I properly store this so I wont have to worry about mould in the future? They were telling me I can store it at room temperature for a year, but evidently I missed something.
posted by geodave to Food & Drink (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: What color was the mold? I don't have my charcuterie book handy, but my recollection is that white mold is generally safe, other colors are not. My guess would be the ziploc did it in by trapping moisture.
posted by Caviar at 8:58 PM on November 25, 2008

Note also that mould is not just a surface phenomenon, like lichen on a rock. Filaments can penetrate into the food a surprising distance, and you won't notice they're still there after you "cut the mould off".

Humans have, of course, been eating mouldy food for as long as there have been humans, and the dose makes the poison, so eating a couple of milligrams of household mould filaments is unlikely to do you much harm. I Am Not A Doctor Or A Mycologist, though, so don't blame me if you end up turning into a Pod Person or something.
posted by dansdata at 9:27 PM on November 25, 2008

I don't really know what you mean by "Dry Summer Sausage" but I assume its some kind of dry cured salami type thing.

My guess on the cause of the mould would be because you sealed it in a ziploc plastic bag. and it would have sweated and created a more hospitable environ for the mould.

I've always been told that the best place to keep dried / cured meats is hanging in a cool but ventilated place.

- or they can be stored in teh fridge but tend to dry out quicker.
posted by mary8nne at 3:35 AM on November 26, 2008

Best answer: Summer sausage is actually cured by fermentation from a white mold. If the mold was a white bloom, it almost certainly was the fruiting of the organisms already alive inside the normal sausage.

No big deal.
posted by IAmBroom at 5:24 AM on November 26, 2008

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