When you’re cooking any kind of meat, be careful about preparation to ensure that the meat is fully cooked. Proper cooking can help prevent harmful bacteria from being harbored in the meat and making us sick, and for many people, the texture of the meat is a key indicator of whether it’s safe to eat.
If you’ve just cooked a pork sausage and you’ve noticed that the inside is pink, you might be thinking about whether it is safe to consume.
So, can pork sausage be slightly pink?
Yes, a little bit of pink in the middle of a pork sausage is not something you should worry about. Pork sausages containing salt can retain pink color rather than turning gray when cooked. As long as your pork sausages are fresh and cooked to an optimal temperature, it should be fine to eat them. Just make sure to check if the juices that run from the pork sausages are clear and free of blood.
Read on to learn more about the correct temperature to cook pork sausages.
What Color Should Pork Sausage Be When Cooked?
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)—the organization responsible for determining safe food temperatures—pork is safe to eat when it reaches 145°F. The lower temperature means your pork sausages will be juicy and delicious, but they may also be a little pink in the middle.
Pork sausages cooked to 145 degrees remains decidedly pink in the middle.
Why Are Pork Sausages Still Pink When Cooked?
There are a few reasons for pork sausages to stay pink after they have been cooked. For example, the pork sausage may be pink because it’s minced or contains salt and paprika.
Firstly, minced meat remains pink even when fully cooked, so your pork sausages are more likely to be pink than meat that has not been minced.
Similarly, salted pork sausages can retain their pink color even when you’ve fully cooked them. Salt is used to cure and preserve sausages, and many salted sausages retain their color better. If your pork sausages contain salt, they are more likely to be pink in the middle.
A third possible culprit for your pork sausage appearing pink is paprika – which is red in color. This can add slight pink to your cooked pork sausages.
Pink pork sausages don’t necessarily mean they’re raw or unsafe to eat. Any of these factors could be a reason for pink sausage meat!
Is Pink Pork Sausage Safe To Eat?
Slightly pink pork sausages are safe to eat if you have heated them to 145°f. The pinkness of sausages is not an indication of how safe they are. As long as you have followed cooking instructions properly, pork sausages should be fully cooked and safe to eat.
You can use a thermometer to check if your pork sausages have reached the appropriate temperature to kill bacteria. Insert a meat thermometer into the sausage without slicing it open to ensure that the pork sausage has reached the correct temperature.
Check the manufacturer’s guidelines for this, but most pork sausages should be heated to about 145° F to kill bacteria. You should note that the center of the sausage has reached optimal internal temperature by inserting the thermometer into the middle – don’t just check the surface temperature.
You can also check that the sausage is cooked by squashing it under your hand. A cooked sausage should be firm but not dry and chewy.
Don’t cut your pork sausages open to check whether they are cooked. This method can make your sausages dry and crumbly.
It also causes problems if your pork sausages need more cooking. Because the sausage is now sliced open, you will have to check the new center to know if they are done. This can result in dried-out sausages, especially if you are impatient and frequently check the food!
If you see a bit of pinkness in the pork sausage, you don’t need to worry. As long as you have followed the cooking instructions, it should be perfectly safe to consume. But what if your sausage is undercooked? Keeping reading if you’re curious about anything you might risk by eating an uncooked pork sausage.
What are the Dangers of Uncooked Sausages?
A food-borne illness you might come across is Trichinosis. This is often found in uncooked pork products and can cause headaches, chills, fevers, and diarrhea.
You shouldn’t eat pork sausages that aren’t properly cooked, but you don’t want to overcook sausages either. An undercooked pork sausage is a health hazard, while an over-cooked one can be very unpleasant.
Just always make sure you have read the cooking instructions and store the sausages safely before and after cooking.
Pork sausages can be a little pink and still be perfectly OK to consume. This pinkness may be caused by salt, spices, or minced meat. Slightly pink won’t do you any harm as long as you cook pork sausages to an internal temperature of 145 F. However, you should pay attention to the meat’s texture to check if a pork sausage has been properly cooked.