What to Look for When Buying Fresh Sausage
Johnsonville’s meat scientist Dr. Jonathan Pleitner shares some simple tips to help consumers choose the freshest Johnsonville Sausage product they can buy.
One of the most common questions Johnsonville gets from its consumers are, “what should one look for when buying fresh, or raw, sausage?”
Jonathan Pleitner, PhD, is a meat scientist for Johnsonville and works in our product development team. So he’s the one who knows what's in the product and what makes a product look the way it does. Here’s what Jonathan advises to look for when purchasing fresh sausage products:
Make sure the packaging and the overwrap of the product is nice and tight over the tray.
Make sure that the back product description label is prominently displayed.
Check to be sure there are no puncture holes or anything that might compromise the package.
"Best By" Date
Sometimes there's a sticker with a date on the product; sometimes there's not. Before a product leaves Johnsonville, we provide all of our retailers and grocers with a “best by” date and so they can place the product out on the shelf up to that date. Some retailers choose to put their own sticker on the package. Before you buy, check the date and if the date is in the past, we advise not purchasing the product and inform the meat manager what you found.
With so many different flavors of sausages and different spices used, the color may be different from one sausage product compared to another. Flavor and character are what we're most proud of here at Johnsonville Sausage. If you look at each of the 70+ different sausage products we offer, you’ll see a wide array of colors, seasonings and flavors being used.
The Original Bratwurst is characterized by its bright pinkish, reddish hue. That’s a sign of a nice, fresh product. If you contrast that with something like our ¼ pound Cheddar Cheese and Bacon Griller, you'll see that product has a slightly browner appearance, which is due to the bacon and the bacon seasoning that's used to make the Griller.
Then take a look at our fresh Chorizo link. Our Mexican-style sausage is characterized by a reddish-brown color – a bit of an orange hue from the chili powder, chili pepper and paprika that's within that spice blend.