Cured summer sausage casings becoming loose.

  • I currently have a batch of 100 sticks of summer sausage hanging in my smokehouse. I’ve been doing this for quite a few years, using my Grandpa’s receipe for old fashioned cured summer sausage. I usually let them hang 6-7 weeks and they are done. This year at the start of week 4, just as the sausages began to firm up, a lot of the casings became loose, not adhering to the meat. I keep air moving through out naturally by opening a vent at the bottom and top of the smokehouse. Recently I added a small fan to help circulate more air. The air temp inside stays relatively stable since it is well insulated. Anyone have any suggestions? A few are developing mold spots between the meat and the loose casings.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    noting Do you use any “good mold” spray? I’m no expert with dry curing but i believe that mold inbetween the casing and the meat is a bad sign. Check the mold to see if it has grown “roots” into the sausage, I know that is a bad sign. Can you post us some pics? If they don’t load email them to me at

  • Regular Contributors Team Grey Sous Vide Canning Dry Cured Sausage Masterbuilt Power User Meat Hack Winner Veteran

    If it is white and has a powdery appearance it should be fine.
    If it is stringy or another color or you just don’t care for mold I would pull the casing off and give them a good vinegar wash
    Use your judgement if is totally out of control and error on the side of caution
    also, it will dry a little faster without the casing

  • glen
    Thanks for your input, yes it is white and I guess you could say powdery, I can rub it off thru the casing,
    I have wiped sausages down in the past with a vinegar/water solution, but only on the outside of the casings. I’m going to pull some casings off and have a look.

  • Jonathon ,
    What do you mean by a “good mold spray” ?? I don’t think the mold has grown “roots” as I can rub it off thru the loose casing. It may not even be mold, but it is a white residue forming on areas of the sausage, not the whole stick. I use perforated casings, I always have, with no issues. We have had a pretty damp winter here( St. Louis area), humidity may be the cause. Yesterday I set a small space heater in the smokehouse set at 50 degrees , just to dry the air out some, still have the small fan circulating air. I’ll try to get some pictures posted.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    noting When you get some pics I will have our Application Specialist look at it and see what he thinks and I will let you know.

  • Jonathon
    Here is a picture of the sausage with loose casing and after removing the casing. The residue wipes off, unsure what it is though. Your thoughts??


  • Regular Contributors Team Grey Sous Vide Canning Dry Cured Sausage Masterbuilt Power User Meat Hack Winner Veteran

    Slimy or dry?

  • glen
    I would describe it as pasty . Not slimy. I cut one open and it has not penetrated into the rind. It wipes off easily with a dry paper towel.
    They have been hanging six weeks now, and the one I cut open appears to be cured throughout.

  • Regular Contributors Team Grey Sous Vide Canning Dry Cured Sausage Masterbuilt Power User Meat Hack Winner Veteran

    Wouldn’t bother me, with spoilage mold you could tell by smell, taste or appearance of the meat itself
    That being said since it is moist I would clean it off and vac pack any you want to store
    By the way I forgot some soppressata I vac packed in my basement for 9 months or so and it was better than before

  • glen
    I appreciate your input, I sampled a stick last night and it tastes just fine. I am going to pull them all this weekend, clean and pack them. I’m going to blame it on the damp winter we had this year. I’ve never had this happen in over 25 years, so I was really concerned. I may get a dehumidifier for next year to help control things. Thanks again!!

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    noting I showed those to our Application Specialist and he said that from the pic he cannot tell if it is really mold or if it is tyrosine, salt out or ghosting. He wants to know what % it happened too and if the summer sausages were touching each other at all where the white stuff is. From your earlier post it sounds like they were not touching but I want to be sure. Also, have the spots spread and is it possible to get a closer pic of the white substance?

  • Jonathon ,
    I pulled all the sausage yesterday, removed the casings, some just slid right out, and wiped the patches off with a vinegar/water solution. So unfortunately I cannot get anymore pictures. I would say that about 30 % of the batch had these white patches on them. A few were large like the one in the pics I sent, most were smaller. Just a few were beginning to develop a greenish mold color on top of these patches. All wiped off cleanly with no apparent “rooting” into the meat. I keep about 1 inch spacings on the sausages while hanging. I sampled the one in the picture and it tastes good, no off flavor or anything. However if I let them hang any longer I am sure they would have continued to propagate. I believe this batch has been salvaged, but I am very interested in what this could be, and preventing it the next time.
    Could you explain what tyrosine, or ghosting is.
    Also this was a batch of 50/50 venison & pork and we trim a lot of the excess fat from the pork butts.
    I cold smoke keeping temps below 50 F . Usually let the sausages hang a day or two before smoking, then smoke about 8 hrs per day for 3 days. This has always worked great for us with no problems.
    Thank you again for looking into this, you have a great website!

  • Regular Contributors Team Grey Sous Vide Canning Dry Cured Sausage Masterbuilt Power User Meat Hack Winner Veteran

    Excerpt from WRIGHTFOOD


    I get quite a handful of emails a week from people asking me to look at pictures of their drying meat, and to give my opinion on whether a certain mold is safe or not. I am certainly no mold expert, so you can imagine my reply – but here is the basics about mold on dry cured meats:

    WHITE: powdery white mold is good. A form of penicillin. It will have a smell of ammonia. White mold that is furry or hairy is bad.

    GREEN/BLUE: not the best. If this is present you generally have a humidity or airflow problem. Try to either lower the humidity in your hanging environment, or make sure there is some positive airflow in your chamber, with regular transfers of air (get the stale air out, and fresh air in).

    BLACK: Serious stuff. Can be toxic. Generally only forms when there is very high humidity and no air movement. I have only ever had black mold appear once. For me anything that grows black mold is instantly thrown away.

    The best way to deal with a case of the fuzzies or blue/green mold is simply to wipe the area in question with vinegar. It wouldn’t hurt to wipe your chamber with the stuff either. Once you are done curing, clean the chamber out with a 10% bleach solution and let it dry for a couple of days before using again.

  • glen ,
    This is great information, thanks!!

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    noting Ghosting is the issue that happens sometimes with jerky/dried sausage where everything looks fine at first but then a white powdery substance starts appearing on the surface. It can happen on a jerky with almost no moisture and in a vac bag, that is how you know it is not mold. Some people say it is Tyrosine that is forced out of the meat, some say salt. Texas A&M has a great quick breakdown on this

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