How Long Is Pepperoni Good For? Does Pepperoni Go Bad?

If you go to a pizza restaurant and have no hesitation ordering a pepperoni pizza, you must be a pepperoni fan. No one can deny that pepperoni is delicious and easy to make, which is why it is one of the favorite proteins of children and families. 

On lazy days when you don’t fancy cooking, grilling some pepperoni in storage sounds effortless and tasty. However, when storing pepperoni, have you wondered, “How long is pepperoni good for?” Pepperoni has a shelf life, and bad pepperoni can bring dangerous impacts to your body. Let’s learn more about pepperoni shelf life in this article!

What Is Pepperoni? 

Pepperoni is a meat mixture between beef and pork shaped in dried rolls. A delicious pepperoni contains the perfect meat-to-fat ratio, about 70% of meat and 30% fat. 

The amount of fat in pepperonis relies on what meat cut is used in the sausages. Other than beef and pork, you can easily find pepperoni in other proteins as well: such as chicken, rabbit, lamb, etc. Due to its delicious characteristics, you can frequently see pepperoni in pizzas or chili recipes with fresh tomatoes

How Long Is Pepperoni Good For?

how long is pepperoni good for

The answer to “How long is deli pepperoni good for?” depends on its current situation, whether you have opened it or not. For unopened pepperoni, you can expect it to last for 1.5 months in the fridge, while for opened sausages, they can last for three weeks if you store them under cool temperature. 

At room temperature

When you purchase pepperonis, they often come as sticks, and each stick will have a different labeled expired time. You can rely on this information to know how long deli pepperoni lasts. Most pepperonis are made with cured meat with nitrate and salts as the main ingredients to store them at room temperature.

If you don’t have spaces in your fridges, feel free to let your pepperoni stay at room temperature, and they will stay fresh until the labeled time. But remember that this storage method only applies to unopened pepperoni. Air is an enemy of opened pepperoni, so you should not store opened sausages at room temperature unless you want it to go bad soon. Hence, pepperoni stored at room temperature is good until the labeled expired date.

In the fridge

After the expiration date, you can still eat the pepperoni, but the flavor won’t be as fresh and salty as before. That’s the reason why people move pepperoni into refrigerators for storing, as the cool temperature will expand hard salami shelf life

Instead of throwing away the nearly-expired dried sausages, now you can toss them in the fridge and expect them to stay fresh for at least three more weeks.

So, how long does pepperoni last in the fridge? Opened sausages can last for three weeks after expired dates in the fridge, while unopened ones can stay fresh for six weeks!

In the freezer

Can you freeze pepperoni? If you want to expand your sausages’ lifespan to the maximum limit, you can freeze pepperoni. When constantly frozen at zero degrees Celsius, pepperoni can last for six months. 

However, this storage method is not advised for all kinds of pepperoni as long-term storing at freezing temperature can make pepperoni’s flavor bland. So unless you are in a rural area where sausages are hardly accessible, by then, you should freeze pepperoni; otherwise, storing in the fridge alone is fine for your sausages. It’s best to check the pepperoni’s quality after thawing. 

Many environmental factors can ruin your pepperoni while storing without you even knowing. That’s the reason why you need proper storage for both opened and unopened pepperoni if you want them to last long and fresh while freezing.

How Do You Know If Pepperoni Has Gone Bad?

Does pepperoni go bad? Yes, it does! If you are afraid that your pepperoni has gone bad, here are some signs to help you detect whether your pepperonis are still edible or not. These indicators can differ between types of sausages and how they were stored. However, you can rely on these common spoiled signs to detect your pepperoni’s condition. 

Let’s see how to tell if pepperoni is bad

  • Fresh pepperoni is completely dry, so if you see slimy substances around your pepperoni, then it’s maybe a sign of spoilage. However, pepperoni texture contains meat and fat, and fat can break down in certain circumstances, eventually creating sliminess. So, the sign of spoilage we are looking for at pepperoni is sliminess, pepperoni mold, and bad odor. If you can detect both slimy substances around pepperoni with an odd smell, then you can confidently throw those pepperonis away before they spoil the rest. 
  • Other than the salty, fresh smell of edible pepperoni, bad pepperoni generates an odd smell that is not similar to food odor. You can describe this smell as acidic and spicy. After a long time of storing under non-qualified conditions, pepperoni spoils by giving off smell, so when you detect these exotic smells, it’s time to throw these pepperoni away. Preserved meats tend to take on an acrid smell when they are spoiling.
  • The final test is tasting the pepperoni. Suppose you are still unsure if it gives off a weird smell or slimy substance; cut and take a small bite. If moldy pepperoni tastes sour, you can confirm that it has spoiled, and it’s time to purchase newly fresh pepperoni. 

It’s best to determine these signs before you take pepperoni out and reheat. The guide on how to reheat pepperoni is as easy as how to reheat nachos, but if you are reheating spoiled pepperoni, all of your work will become a waste in the end. 

How To Store Pepperoni To Expand Its Lifespan?

Now that we know “How long does pepperoni last?”, it’s time to consider storing pepperoni so that it can expand its lifespan.

For opened sausages, there are two ways of storing them. You can either dry-cure it or store it in the fridge. For the dry-cure method, you will add salt and water into these sausages and let the moisturizing process make the meat dry and shelf-stable at room temperature, like what you do with beef jerky. With the help of salt, water, and air, used pepperoni can turn into a delicious dish while being stored simultaneously. The only thing you need to remember is to seal that jar tightly until used to maintain the saltiness and freshness. 

For the fridge method, toss used sausages in a separate air-sealed bag or container to make sure air cannot get into the exposed meat to make it go bad soon. Another way you can use it is to take aluminum wraps and wrap them around the leftover pepperoni. 

For packaged pepperoni, it can last at room temperature, but refrigeration is a must if you want to extend its lifespan. You can leave the sausages in a separate corner to ensure they don’t interfere with the smell of other ingredients. If you want to freeze pepperoni for even longer storage, you need to put them in an air-sealed bag or container with no air inside. 

Then, use a pen and note down its expiration date, so you can calculate how much time left you can use this pepperoni. Under the proper freezing method, you can enjoy your pepperoni fresh when thawed. If you have known the instructions on how to cook frozen lasagna, we are sure that you can nail a pepperoni recipe to perfection!


Is pepperoni good after the expiration date?

Pepperoni is good after the expiration date if you store it in the fridge or the freezer. Unopened pepperoni can last for three weeks after the expiration date if stored in the fridge and six weeks when freezing.

What happens if you eat bad pepperoni?

If you accidentally ingest bad pepperoni, it won’t cause any symptoms. However, if you digest too much-spoiled pepperoni, you may suffer from food poisoning, along with severe symptoms including diarrhea, vomiting, etc. That’s why it’s crucial to detect bad pepperoni and only eat the fresh one to ensure your health.

The Final Word

And that’s everything we answer on “How long is pepperoni good for?” After reading this article, we hope you get a clear understanding of your every food – pepperoni, about its lifespan mostly. Enjoy your lovely pepperoni, and we will catch up with you soon in the next article!

Kevin Richard

Hi all! I’m Kevin. I spend plenty of time in the kitchen every day because I love cooking healthy and delicious foods for my family and friends. Cooking gives me a chance to be creative and fun. It’s also one of the most meaningful ways to express my love and take care of my little family.

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