Should I eat it: shipped sausage edition
January 5, 2023 1:45 PM   Subscribe

I just picked up a cooler full of sausage 48 hours after it was shipped. It was packed with dry ice, and the packages at the bottom of the cooler were nicely frozen. However, the second to the top layer was only partially frozen and the top layer was basically defrosted. They come in packages of 4 and are vacuum sealed. I think I'm okay with the refreezing the second layer but I'm pondering whether to toss the first layer. Thoughts?
posted by Tell Me No Lies to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Is this like raw ground meat sausage or is it summer sausages/salamis like the kind you'd get in a Midwestern gift set with cheeses and mustards? There is a huge difference.
posted by phunniemee at 1:52 PM on January 5, 2023 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: Raw ground meat.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 2:01 PM on January 5, 2023


Response by poster: A large selection of these.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 2:02 PM on January 5, 2023


Would you say the inside temperature of the cooler was warm, or like a refrigerator? Without having felt it, I would guess that the dry ice + frozen bottom layer would keep even the top layer refrigerated if defrosted - if that's the case, I'd eat it.
posted by coffeecat at 2:06 PM on January 5, 2023 [1 favorite]


Was there still dry ice inside?
posted by juliapangolin at 2:15 PM on January 5, 2023


It's probably fine, given that it was inside an insulated package with other frozen food. If you want to play it a little safe but also not waste the sausages, you could cook & eat right away rather than refreezing.
posted by mekily at 2:18 PM on January 5, 2023 [2 favorites]


If a company sent this to you, I would give their phone number a call. They could advise on the safety of consuming their product (and maybe even send a replacement).
posted by oceano at 2:43 PM on January 5, 2023 [9 favorites]


I’d probably eat it. But I like sausages more than I dislike being sick.
posted by kevinbelt at 3:40 PM on January 5, 2023 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: Was there still dry ice inside?

No.

Would you say the inside temperature of the cooler was warm, or like a refrigerator?

At the bottom it was freezing. I’m not sure about the top — it was much warmer than the bottom but much cooler than the ambient temperature. Unfortunately the ambient temperature is 80F so that’s not saying much.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 3:46 PM on January 5, 2023


I personally would not trust the top layer if it is thawed and the dry ice is totally gone.
posted by gudrun at 3:54 PM on January 5, 2023 [1 favorite]


I would also be deeply iffy about the top layer, but I like the idea of calling the company to ask if you can. I eat a lot of things, but ground meats really aren't something to play around with.
posted by phunniemee at 4:05 PM on January 5, 2023 [3 favorites]


I would cook the top layer well right now, freeze the bottom and not worry much. Except for maybe what to do with the middle. Cooking it now is maybe more conservative but also more challenging to deal with. Frozen cooked sausage is ok but not as good as frozen raw sausage that's been properly defrosted and cooked…
posted by SaltySalticid at 5:38 PM on January 5, 2023 [1 favorite]


If layer below the top layer was still partially frozen and there wasn't anything insulating between them, it seems very unlikely that the top layer was significantly above fridge temperature, unless the top of this cooler was incredibly thin. I'd feel fine eating now or refreezing (but I'd mark the different layers on the packages just in case).
posted by ssg at 6:10 PM on January 5, 2023


I assume the prices on that web page are in MXN and not USD? So we're talking about maybe USD 20-30 worth of snausages and not a few hundred USD worth of ultra-fancy snausage? If that's the case, I'll repeat my advice regarding thawed chorizo from several years ago:

I might not know you from Adam's housecat but I truly believe you were made in the image of God and deserve new sausages.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 4:05 AM on January 6, 2023 [3 favorites]


I would open the top layer, sniff test. Then cook it, taste 1 bite, wait a few hours. This is not foolproof, but it's reasonable, as it's likely it was within fridge temps. Middle layer sounds fine.

I would ask for replacement of at least the top layer, in any case. Heat Rises; Cold Falls; ice should go on top.
posted by theora55 at 9:48 AM on January 6, 2023


Response by poster: I threw out the worst (get it?), which had been pressed against the top of the container, cooked the second worst immediately and put everything else in the freezer. Today one of them had a lot of new ice inside the package so that one is for the trash as well.

In retrospect a good test would have been to put them all in the freezer and see which ones had new ice today.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 3:45 PM on January 7, 2023 [1 favorite]


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