When still fresh, pepperoni should have its regular aroma. It should smell of cured pork, beef, and seasonings. Some people also describe pepperoni’s typical smell as slightly cheesy and acidic.
When pepperoni has gone bad, you may notice a marked color change. The color of fresh pepperoni should be between pink and dark red.
Bad pepperoni will only show a change in taste after other indicators have appeared. So, you do not have to taste your pepperoni to confirm spoilage if other signs are present.