Black Spots on Salami: Is It Beneficial or Harmful for You?

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Are you a serious salami lover? Love adding it to your pasta or into your favorite snack mix?

Salami, particularly the Italian one, has a rich history and is a popular ingredient used in the culinary world. It is one of the most beloved cured sausages to date with its unique taste.

But how well do you know about the salami you eat?

We often see white or black spots on salami. Do you ever ponder whether these mold or spots are safe for you to eat?

The white spots on the exterior of the meat are a good indication. White mold is a type of mold that protects meat from harmful bacteria. But what about the black spot? Is black spot good or bad?

In most cases, a black spot on salami is dangerous for your health, and you need to avoid it as much as possible.

To learn more, read on!

Dry Salami6 weeks unrefrigeratedUp to 3 weeks in the fridge
Cooked Salami2 weeks in the fridgeUp to 7 days
Hard Salami3-4 weeks2-3 weeks
Felino Salami6 months10 days
PepperoniIndefinite in the refrigerator3 weeks
Chorizo2 weeks1 week
Peppered SalamiIndefinite in the refrigeratorUp to 3 weeks in the fridge

Should Salami Have Black Spots?

black spots on salami

Depending on the appearance and texture of the black spots on the salami, you can say whether it is good or bad.

Typically, when you purchase salami from superstores, you see tiny black dots in the meat; they can be black peppercorns. Most producers add grounded black peppercorns to give their distinct flavor. It is more common to see black spots or mold on homemade cured meats and sausages than store-bought salami.

The appearance of black mold on salami indicates contamination during the curing process.

Black mold happens due to a certain bacteria called Carnimonas Nigrificans. Thus, seeing black mold on the salami is something you should avoid.

How Can You Tell If Salami Went Bad?

How Can You Tell If Salami Went Bad

Based on the coloration and changes in appearance, you can tell whether the salami went terrible or not.

Spoiled salami appears to have gray edges and black fuzzy spots on its surface. The black spots mean the presence of black mold or bacteria that inhabited the meat.

Additionally, if the salami gives off any rotten egg-like odor or the stingy smell of ammonia, it is a clear indication that you need to throw it in the bin.

However, it is a good sign if you see any white spots on salami. White powdery mold growing on the exterior of salami and giving off an earthy or mushroom-like odor is the presence of a suitable microorganism – penicillin.

This naturally occurring process helps protect the cured meat from getting rotten and is entirely safe to eat.

You might be interested to read also our another comprehensive article of: How Long Can Salami Sit Out? What Safety Precautions Are Taken

How Does Black Spot Form On Salami?

How Does Black Spot Form On Salami

The possibility of a black spot forming on the salami can be due to unclean environment or external factors during the curing process.

Sugar substances such as dextrin or maltose are mixed with other ingredients to give cured sausages and salami a unique savory taste.

As mold feasts on sugar, an inaccurate amount of sugar can help grow black spots on salami.

White Mold On Salami

White Mold On Salami

When you buy prosciutto and salami from your nearby butcher shop, you often see specks or colonies of fuzzy white spots growing on the meat’s exterior. A common question that many cured meat lovers might ask ‘Is it safe to eat?

Although mold on food is always undesirable, this particular species of mold found on preserved meat is harmless.

 The white mold is a microscopic fungus known as penicillium used to produce and store hard cheese and dry-cured meats. This type of mold typically grows in dark places where the temperature and water content in the air is low.

As the natural fermentation process to produce salami and cured sausages requires this environment, it is likely to see white mold growing outside.

On the plus side, white mold found on cured meats such as salami has some benefits. The white mold acts as a shield against bacteria that produce harmful mycotoxins. This powdery white stuff is crucial in the drying process and prevents the meat from spoilage due to the high-fat content found in the product.

Most importantly, the white mold on salami also contributes to the overall distinct flavor and smell highly loved by cured meat lovers.

The good thing is that white mold on salami is safe to eat. If you don’t prefer mold on your salami, you can always wash off the mold or cut it out using a knife without worrying about losing your precious meat.

Is The Mold On The Salami Dangerous To Eat?

Is The Mold On The Salami Dangerous To Eat

Milk white or rice powder substance you see on salami is a good kind of mold. They thrive naturally as part of the curing process.

The change in temperature, humidity, and natural developing state of the mold is at times out of the producers’ control. It causes the mold’s change in color and appearance, from white to yellowish to greenish shades.

White mold found on salami isn’t going to hurt you and is safe to eat. This mold is what gives the salami its unique flavor and smell. Depending on your choice, whether you want to eat the mold is up to you. If you don’t like the smell or taste of mold, you can permanently remove the casing on the salami.

On the other hand, dark gray, brown, or black spots on salami can seem off-putting.

However, the black spot on your salami, which appears like black mold, can be harmful.

As it contains some toxic chemicals that can cause allergic reactions or food poisoning, you need to avoid it as much as possible.

How To Prevent Black Spots On Salami?

How To Prevent Black Spots On Salami

If you plan to cure salami at home, following a recipe from an authentic source is vital.

Every step in the curing process requires careful monitoring, especially the room temperature, humidity content, and ventilation.

If you store dried salami in a poorly ventilated room, black mold forming on the meat is higher. Also, pay attention to the moisture level in the storage room. The ideal humidity content is 45%; anything more than this could contribute to unwanted mold growth.

Black molds can form due to contamination during the curing process; therefore, it is essential to sterile the environment and tools.

Wherever you store the salami, make sure you have enough ventilation and keep them away from damp areas.

Another trick is to cover the salami casings with suitable molds, such as white mold.

If you see a few black spots on the salami, you can try washing it with vinegar, water, and salt solution. Black marks on casings are easy to remove; however, if the mold has penetrated through the case, the salami is unsafe to consume.


  • What Are The Black Dots In Pepperoni?

Usually, Pepperoni from superstores contains black peppercorns, which seem like tiny black spots on the meat. Most producers add grounded black peppercorns to give their trademark flavor and taste. You can try 365 Pepperoni by Whole Foods Market to eat the best-tasted pepperoni.

  • Can I Eat Black Spots On The Salami?

If these black spots are black peppercorns, they are safe to consume, and if you don’t like peppers, you can remove them. But it’s the black fuzzy-like mold that you should steer clear away.

This mold produces harmful chemicals known as mycotoxins that can cause severe allergic reactions or food poisoning if eaten.

  • Is It Safe To Eat Salami With White Mold On It?

When you purchase salamis from the store, you will notice that the salami has a white mold- like-coating on the outside. It is entirely normal, and there is nothing to worry about. The white mold appears due to penicillin which helps in the natural fermentation process of the salami.

  • What Does Mold On Salami Look Like?

It is common to see bits of white mold on the exterior of the salami. These are good microbes that protect from other harmful bacteria growing. Bad bacteria will eventually succeed if the salami is affected due to a change in temperature during the fermentation period.

The mold or spots can appear black, green, brown, or greyish, indicating that the salami has gone bad, and it is time to say goodbye.

Final Words

Are black spots on salami bad?

Not all mold or spots found on salami are bad for you. The formation of white mold is a naturally occurring fermenting process, widespread to see in cured meat such as salami. It’s the black mold that you need to avoid.

With salami and other cured meat, black spots can be confusing. You might not be sure if these black spots are black peppercorns or the presence of black mold, especially if you purchase them from a store with no access to its ingredients.

As black mold has a bad reputation, it is good to avoid it. You can try removing the casing containing the mold and clean it thoroughly. But the safest option is to dispose of it.

Try some flavorful homemade salami today and enjoy your meal.

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