Salami has gone bad and should not be eaten if the edges of the meat turn a brown or gray color, it develops air pockets or has a hardened exterior. White mold on the exterior does not signify spoilage. Unlike other cured meats, salami remains edible for long periods of time, making it more difficult to detect spoilage. Some types of salami have no expiration date.
The best way to preserve salami is to keep it refrigerated in its original packaging until it is ready for use. Salami is often wrapped in paper that is breathable, and this wrapping should remain on the sausage. Freezing hard salami is not recommended. However, fully cooked salami may be stored in the freezer for up to four months.
In the United States, the process of making salami is heavily regulated to ensure that harmful pathogens are eliminated before it is sold to the public. Therefore, salami sausages made in the United States are required to be cooked or irradiated, which is not a step in traditional salami production. The classic Italian way to make salami is to allow the uncooked sausage to cure naturally. Countries in central Europe prefer smoking salami sausages before letting them dry. For safety reasons, consumers should make note of where the salami is made.