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Sausage spoilage (Read 15696 times)
11/16/02 at 04:37:09
carya   Ex Member

Many are familiar with the signs of spoilage in a processed food -- the bulging can or packaging.  While cleaning out the refrigerator this week, I found a long expired package of cooked sausage, and the package was the size of a football!  Although I knew enough to throw it out, I wondered as to what was the mechanism that produced the expanded container.  Fermentation?  Anaerobic bacteria?  Which bacteria (someone told me that certain kinds of bacteria are deliberately added, to kill less friendly bacteria)?

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Reply #1 - 11/16/02 at 07:47:25
Chef_Fred   Ex Member

What you probably had in the container was a bacterium that produced methane in its life cycle.  Not knowing the atmosphere in the package it is hard to tell if it was aerobic or anaerobic. 
Hard sausages are inoculated with a "friendly" lactic producing bacteria to ferment the sausage and give it the desired flavor.  There is some experimentation with pro-biotics, good bacteria infected into food to prevent the growth of bad, however most producers use sodium lactate to block the groth of bacteria. 
Sodium lactate sufficates the bacteria by not allowing them to excrete and thus interupts their life cycle.
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Reply #2 - 01/09/03 at 14:13:52
inquisitive_cooks   Ex Member

Some lactic acid bacteria also produce carbon dioxide.  This can swell a package of weiners or sausage when they are packed in a gastight, flexible film.  Possibly this was one reason for a package that swelled to the size of a football!
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