How Long Does Raw Or Cooked Chorizo Last In The Fridge?

Chorizo, a delicious, spicy sausage originating from Spain and Portugal, has become a popular ingredient in various dishes worldwide. Its unique flavor profile, which is derived from the combination of ground pork, smoked paprika, and other spices, makes it a versatile and flavorful addition to any meal.

However, like other raw meats, it’s essential to store it properly and be aware of its shelf life to ensure that you’re consuming safe and delicious food.

So in this blog post, we will discuss how long raw chorizo lasts in the fridge, the factors affecting its shelf life, and the signs of spoilage to watch out for. We will also share some tips on how to store chorizo properly to extend its freshness.

How Long Does Raw Or Cooked Chorizo Last In The Fridge?

The shelf life of raw chorizo in the fridge depends on several factors, including the type of chorizo, the packaging, and the temperature of your refrigerator. Generally speaking, there are two main types of chorizo: fresh (uncooked) and cured (cooked or dried).

  • Raw Chorizo: Raw chorizo that hasn’t been cooked can last up to 1 week, if properly stored in the refrigerator. However, the freshness and quality of the meat may start to decline towards the end of the week, so it’s always best to use it within that timeframe for optimal taste and texture.
  • Cooked Chorizo: Cured chorizo, on the other hand, that has been cooked can last for up to 5 days, just under a week. But again, this only applies if the sausage has been wrapped up and stored properly in the refrigerator.

Just keep in mind that these timelines are general guidelines and can vary depending on the specific product and storage conditions.

To ensure that you’re consuming safe food, always check the expiration date on the package or consult with the manufacturer if you’re unsure.

Factors That Can Affect Its Shelf Life

1. Temperature

The temperature of your refrigerator plays a significant role in preserving the freshness of raw chorizo. Ideally, your fridge should be set to 40°F (4°C) or below to slow down bacterial growth and maintain the quality of the meat. 

Fluctuations in temperature can cause the meat to spoil more quickly, so try to avoid opening the fridge door too frequently or placing the chorizo near the door where the temperature is less stable.

2. Packaging

The way raw chorizo is packaged can also affect its shelf life. Vacuum-sealed packaging helps to extend the freshness of the meat by limiting its exposure to oxygen, which can promote bacterial growth. 

If your chorizo comes in vacuum-sealed packaging, try to keep it sealed until you’re ready to use it.

3. Handling

Proper handling of raw chorizo is crucial for maintaining its quality and safety. So its always recommended to wash your hands before and after handling raw meat, and avoid cross-contamination by using separate cutting boards and utensils for raw and cooked foods.

Does Raw Or Cooked Chorizo Need To Be Refrigerated?

Believe it or not, traditional, cured chorizo doesn’t require refrigeration due to the preservation process that includes salt and drying. Vacuum-packed chorizo can be stored in a cool, dry place like a cupboard or pantry.

However, if you have fresh or semi-cured chorizo, it should be refrigerated as it has a higher moisture content and can spoil more quickly.

Once you’ve opened the vacuum-packed chorizo, it’s a good idea to store any leftovers in the refrigerator to maintain its freshness and quality.

Just make sure to wrap it well in plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out or absorbing any odors from other foods.

Is There A Way To Make Raw Or Cooked Chorizo Last Longer?

Yes, in fact with most foods they’re only one way to make chorizo last longer and that’s freezing it. Freezing is an excellent method to extend the shelf life of both raw and cooked chorizo.

For raw chorizo:

  • Divide the raw chorizo into portion sizes that you’ll use in future meals.
  • Wrap each portion tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, ensuring there’s no air trapped inside.
  • Place the wrapped portions in a resealable freezer bag or an airtight container.
  • Label the bag or container with the date and type of chorizo for easy identification later.
  • Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

For cooked chorizo:

  • Allow the cooked chorizo to cool completely before freezing.
  • Wrap individual portions or whole pieces of cooked chorizo tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
  • Place the wrapped chorizo in a resealable freezer bag or an airtight container.
  • Label the bag or container with the date and type of chorizo.
  • Store in the freezer for up to 1 months.

When you’re ready to use your chorizo, defrost it in the refrigerator overnight or use the defrost setting on your microwave. Just remember to cook raw chorizo thoroughly before consuming and reheat cooked chorizo until it’s piping hot.

How Long Is Raw Or Cooked Chorizo Good For After Its Best By Date?

The “Best By” date on a package of chorizo is an indication provided by the manufacturer to help ensure optimal quality and taste. However, it’s not an expiration date, and the chorizo may still be safe to consume after this date has passed, as long as it has been stored properly and shows no signs of spoilage.

With that said, after the “Best By” date has passed, the likelihood of seeing signs of spoilage will increase as time goes on. At this point its best to use your best judgement to determine whether its good enough to eat.

What Happens If You Eat Bad Chorizo?

If you eat chorizo that has gone bad, there is a chance you may experience food poisoning symptoms caused by the harmful bacteria that have developed in the meat. These common symptoms of food poisoning include:

  1. Nausea
  2. Vomiting
  3. Diarrhea
  4. Stomach cramps
  5. Fever
  6. Headache
  7. Muscle aches

These symptoms can appear within hours of eating the spoiled chorizo or even take up to a few days to manifest. However, the severity and duration of symptoms vary depending on the individual and the type of bacteria involved.

In most cases, food poisoning is self-limiting and resolves within a few days. If you do experience any of these symptoms its essential to stay hydrated and get plenty of rest during this time.

Signs That Your Chorizo Has Gone Bad

To ensure that you’re consuming safe and delicious food, it’s essential to know the signs of spoilage in raw chorizo. If you notice any of the following its a good idea to discard are the meat immediately.

  • Smell: Spoiled chorizo may have a sour, pungent, or rancid odor. Trust your nose – if the smell is off-putting, it’s best not to consume the meat.
  • Appearance: Fresh chorizo should have a bright red color due to the smoked paprika and other spices. If the meat has turned gray, brown, or green, it may be spoiled.
  • Slimy texture: A slimy or sticky surface on the chorizo can indicate bacterial growth and spoilage.


So hopefully this article has cleared up any questions you may have about how long does raw and cooked chorizo last in the fridge. If your in any doubt always use your senses and judge for yourself whether the sausage is good to eat.

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