Can I eat my chorizo?
May 18, 2012 7:18 PM   Subscribe

So I've got the classic dilemma- to eat or not to eat. I have some chorizo (the mexican variety, olé brand, if it matters), that I opened maybe two, three months ago. The chorizo is stored in individually wrapped sausage shaped holders. The sell by date on the package is June 16, as in next month. When I broke open one of the wrappers, the chorizo still smells divine inside. Is it ok to eat it since the main package was opened? Does the air outside of the little wrappers cause what's inside them to go bad? The internet was full of generalizations ("it's ground meat, of course it will go bad"), but I'd like a more definite answer. Anybody know?
posted by nzero to Food & Drink (15 answers total)
 
Eat it. This is a no brainer to me.
posted by sanka at 7:23 PM on May 18, 2012


I don't eat meat, but I know that sausage is a way to preserve it. I have a Portuguese friend who leaves his precious chorizo on the counter. Plus, the pull date is a dead giveaway. Enjoy.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:28 PM on May 18, 2012


They're individually wrapped? They're fine.
posted by curious nu at 7:31 PM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Spanish and Portugese chorizo are dry like pepperoni and are cured (preserved). Mexican chorizo, however, is usually fresh sausage and will spoil.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:34 PM on May 18, 2012


They're individually wrapped, like string cheese? And it could still be sold in stores for another month? You should be eating delicious chorizo right this second. I mean, unless something looks slimy or smells icky? But it doesn't, and it's been in the fridge?
posted by mgar at 7:35 PM on May 18, 2012


Yeah, been in the fridge.
posted by nzero at 7:38 PM on May 18, 2012


Eat the chorizo. All the salt and nitrites would have prevented anything from growing.
posted by fixer at 7:39 PM on May 18, 2012


if it smells good and isn't creepily swollen or bursting from its packaging in any way, i'd say snarf it up!
posted by quiteliterally at 7:40 PM on May 18, 2012


If it doesn't look malformed or off-color more than it would logically be due to lengthy refrigeration, and it doesn't smell funny, then eat it after cooking. Chances are, if there's nothing obviously wrong with it, then anything which might have started within it that isn't immediately obvious isn't big enough to survive cooking.

I've eaten bratwurst that's been in my fridge for 8 weeks or so with no ill effects, as bit of anecdata for comparison.
posted by hippybear at 8:38 PM on May 18, 2012


Because it for what goes into typical Mexican chorizo, I've found that it tastes foul and rancid before it gets dangerous - at least, I've eaten bits of rancid-tasting chorizo and never been sick from it.
posted by WasabiFlux at 8:43 PM on May 18, 2012


Unless you're in a rush, why not wait till Monday and call the manufacturer? I've found this to be a great way to get the official answer.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 12:32 AM on May 19, 2012


Chorizo is made in order to preserve meat, it originated in pre-refrigeration times and was commonly stored at ambient temperatures. We store our chorizos out of the fridge, hanging from a hook and they just get a bit drier. You can get a bit of mould growing on the outside on certain types but you either just wipe it off or eat it.

Eat it.

Oh, and I trained and worked as a microbiologist including a stint in a food testing lab (testing for food poisoning organisms in shop bought foods). The real things to watch for are raw meats and cross contamination (using the same utensils for raw and cooked meats). The vast majority of sell by dates have very little to do with food poisoning. In fact the organisms which cause food poisoning are rarely the same as those that spoil food so the appearance and smell of food has little to do with its safety and much more to do with its appeal. I routinely ignore sell by dates and use my own senses to check whether the food will be good to eat but I don't fool myself that I'm doing anything useful to check its safety (think salad leaves washed in contaminated water causing E. coli outbreaks). Of course this all breaks down somewhat when you get to industrially processed foods but I haven't had any problems yet.

So, once again, eat the chorizo.
posted by itsjustanalias at 1:10 AM on May 19, 2012


Send it to me. If I disappear from Metafilter, you'll know it wasn't safe to eat.
posted by flabdablet at 6:33 AM on May 19, 2012


The sausage itself is still in a sealed layer of plastic, it's been kept refrigerated, and it's not even past its sell-by date. It's absolutely fine.

Does the air outside of the little wrappers cause what's inside them to go bad?

No, it's been double-wrapped precisely to help you avoid the "is the opened package okay" dilemma.
posted by desuetude at 9:13 PM on May 20, 2012


We store our chorizos out of the fridge, hanging from a hook and they just get a bit drier. You can get a bit of mould growing on the outside on certain types but you either just wipe it off or eat it. Eat it. Oh, and I trained and worked as a microbiologist including a stint in a food testing lab (testing for food poisoning organisms in shop bought foods). The real things to watch for are raw meats and cross contamination (using the same utensils for raw and cooked meats).

You're talking about cured chorizo. Mexican chorizo is sold as fresh sausage, raw.
posted by desuetude at 9:16 PM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


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