The USDA calls food that has been left sitting at room temperature a danger zone. The danger zone is typically food that is between 40°F and 140°F. This range of temperatures actually allows bacteria to rapidly grow and make food unsafe to eat. The time scale for bacteria growth is typically two hours maximum. So how are you supposed to handle sausage balls after they have been cooked? You don’t want to waste some of the best tasting food from Stripling’s General Store do you? Leftover sausage balls should be properly placed in a tightly sealed dish before being refrigerated. Now you know how to store sausage balls to keep them fresh and safe so you can enjoy them as a snack later or part of your next meal.
Safety Comes First
Working with ground meat calls for a certain level of safety in the kitchen. In order to prevent contamination, ground meat of any kind should be kept below 40°F or above 140°F. Of course, when you purchase properly packed sausage balls they will be safe in the refrigerator for a few days and up to a month in the freezer. It is a good idea to cook them while they are still fresh for optimum freshness and flavor. Cooked sausage balls can be kept for up to 3 to 4 days.
Keep Your Sausage Balls to Themselves
There are a lot of odoriferous foods that tend to make other foods smell or taste like them if they are not stored right. This is one of the main reasons that sausage balls need to be kept in air tight containers. You do not want their aroma to be absorbed by other foods in your fridge like cream or butter. Consider storing them in sealable storage bags for food and/or airtight containers meant for refrigerator storage use. Make it easier on yourself too and line the bottom and sides of storage containers with wax paper so the sausage balls don’t stain them with fat or transfer their aroma.
Prevention Is the Answer
Keeping a clean kitchen and handling food properly is the answer to being able to stay safe and enjoy great tasting foods. You should wash your hands for twenty seconds before and after you have handled raw sausage. Cross-contamination can also be prevented by keeping cutting boards and utensils that have been used with raw sausage separate from other equipment in your kitchen. Also, be sure to sanitize equipment and utensils that have been used after cooking sausage balls, and enjoy great tasting food with the entire family.