Cues to Consider When Buying & Using Fully Cooked Sausage
Johnsonville’s meat scientist Dr. Jonathan Pleitner answers commonly asked questions about fully precooked or fully cooked sausage.
How Do I Know My Product Is Properly Packaged?
All Johnsonville fully cooked sausages are secured in vacuum-sealed packaging. Consumers should ensure there's a nice seal around the edge of the package, around the edge of the product, and it if includes a zipper, make sure it’s fully sealed.
If you see a product that's been bloated or full of air, there’s likely an air pocket or the package has been punctured, and therefore should not be purchased. If that’s the case, bring the package to the meat manager at the grocery store so he/she can make sure that that package isn't purchased or consumed by anyone else.
What’s the Importance of the "Best By" Date?
The date on Johnsonville fully cooked sausage is a “best by” date, or the date we recommend that the consumer uses the sausage by. That way you can be sure of a strong, robust and rich flavor that Johnsonville’s sausages are known for.
How Long Can I Refrigerate or Freeze the Product?
One of the nice features about the resealable package is that a consumer could use just two or three of the links within the package, reseal, place back in the refrigerator, and use the other links at another time.
After the package is open and resealed properly when returned to the refrigerator, the links will remain fresh for up to seven days.
If you choose to put the resealed package back into the freezer, the links will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 30 days.
What affects the color of all the different types of precooked sausage?
Take our Split Rope Smoked Sausage as an example. It features a smoked color, a kind of darker brown color. That's because it's been smoked during its cooking process.
Compare that to our Stadium Brat or our Beer Brat, which are both classified as a “cooked” bratwurst, which means these were steam cooked instead of smoked. This is why you'll see that it features a grayish appearance. It's still fully cooked and safe to consume; it just hasn't been smoked.
Can I Eat the Product Right Out of the Package?
Yes! It’s a commonly held myth that you have to heat precooked sausage before eating it, but it's been fully cooked already, and therefore, is safe to consume right out of the package.
What’s a Filler?
You’ll see the phrase “no fillers” on many Johnsonville Sausage products, which we don’t prefer to have in our products. A “filler” is something like corn starch or modified food starch, rice bran or soy that is added to cheapen the product. The majority of our products don’t contain any fillers, because we use more premium cuts of pork in our products, instead.