As hot dogs are pre-cooked, you may assume they’re safe to eat cold.
However, this is not always the case. After all, there are many different types of frankfurters and hot dogs.
They contain different ingredients, and they’re prepared in different ways. Because of this, you need to read the label before you open a packet of hot dogs and eat one cold.
Some hot dogs are safe to eat cold, and some aren’t
Ultimately, there isn’t a blanket answer when it comes to whether or not you should eat hot dogs cold. Some hot dogs are safe to eat cold. However, others are unsafe.
This is why it’s important to know what to look out for when determining whether or not you should consume a hot dog without cooking it.
Luckily, we’ll explain everything you need to know in this post.
First thing first, check the label!
There’s only one place to begin, and this is by checking the label of the package the hot dog is sold on. It’s fine to eat the hot dogs cold if they’re fully cooked when sold.
The label will also provide you with important information on other factors as well, including:
- Nutrient contents
- Cooking instructions
- Safe handling
Most handling requires hot dogs to be kept in your refrigerator, no matter whether they are raw, partially cooked, or fully cooked.
If the label states that the sausages or hot dogs are raw or partially cooked, you shouldn’t eat them cold.
Why? Well, they could contain bacteria that cause illnesses, such as food poisoning. You should always cook these hot dogs before consumption and then eat them straight away.
Listeria is one of the chief concerns when eating cold hot dogs. Listeria is a bacteria that lives in many substances, such as water, animal waste, dust, and soil.
If you were to eat food containing traces of listeria, you could become sick due to food poisoning.
A healthy person who comes into contact with listeria could feel sick for a few days. However, for others, the infection can be severe and, in some cases, life-threatening, especially to the elderly, babies, and pregnant women.
Listeria is often found in deli meats, like hot dogs, which have not been correctly processed. This is a bacteria that can develop at a cold temperature, i.e., in a fridge. Because of this, a lot of people will only ever eat hot dogs that have been warmed up.
Some of the basic symptoms of listeria include achy muscles, fevers, nausea, and diarrhea. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to get in touch with a medical professional as soon as possible.
Preservatives that cause an upset stomach
Not only is the presence of listeria a real concern, but hot dogs contain a number of preservatives that can upset your stomach if you eat them in an uncooked state. This includes the likes of nitrates and salt.
Because of this, if you eat a raw hot dog, there’s a very high chance you could suffer from diarrhea, an upset stomach, or both!
Instead, have complete peace of mind knowing that you’re eating a delicious and safe-cooked hot dog, which is not going to result in an upset stomach.
Different types of hot dogs
You have many types of hot dogs to select from, which makes it difficult to know which hot dogs need cooking beforehand and which are fine to eat cold.
Sausages can be made from red meat such as veal, lamb, pork, and beef. Some hot dogs are even made from poultry, such as chicken or turkey.
To make sure you don’t suffer from food sickness, you need to heat uncooked sausages containing veal, pork, lamb, or beef at 160 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’ve purchased any hot dog or sausage made from ground turkey or chicken, it needs to be cooked at 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
If hot dogs are sold as ready-to-eat, they are either cooked, semi-dry, or dry.
They can be unsmoked or smoked. Semi-dry sausages are typically completely cooked by being heated in a smokehouse, and then they’re partially dried. A cooked sausage is fully cooked before it’s packaged. It can also be smoked.
Which sausages can you consume cold?
If the packet of hot dogs has been smoked or cooked, it’ll be fine to eat them cold unless the label states otherwise.
These kinds of sausages are made from one or several types of chopped or ground meats that have been seasoned and cooked or smoked.
Aside from hot dogs, some of the other sausages that fall into this category include:
- Dried kielbasa
- Cooked Thuringer
- Cooked salami
- Cooked bratwurst
These hot dogs and sausages are typically found in the deli section. You can keep them in your fridge for approximately one week before you eat them.
However, as is the case with all foods, you should always check the label to ensure you’re storing the food item safely.
Is it okay to reheat hot dogs?
If you’ve cooked too much for launch, or you’ve had a family get-together, and you’ve got leftover hot dogs, you may be wondering whether you can reheat them the following day.
You’ll be pleased to know that it’s perfectly fine to reheat hot dogs, so long as you’ve stored them correctly.
The two main options for reheating hot dogs are as follows:
- Oven – The oven is a wise choice if you have quite a few hot dogs to heat up. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Use aluminum foil to cover a baking sheet. Position the hot dogs in a single layer and use aluminum to cover them, as this will stop overcooking. Bake the hot dogs for approximately five minutes. You should notice a slight color change, and they should be warm all the ways through.
- Microwave – You can also microwave a hot dog, which is a good idea if you only want to reheat one or two sausages. You only need to wrap the hot dog in a paper towel. Put the heat on high, and warm the hot dog for 30 seconds. You can then check whether more heat is needed. If the hot dog splits at the edges, you’ve overcooked it.
How long will a hot dog last once the packet has been opened?
If you store your hot dogs in the fridge once you have opened the packet, they should last for around one week. If you place your hot dogs in the freezer, you can expect them to last up to one month. Storing your hot dogs properly is imperative in ensuring they taste amazing and stay fresh.
You should always store hot dogs in a resealable plastic bag, an airtight container, or the original vacuum-sealed packaging. To further extend the life of the hot dogs, you can add a small amount of water to the bag or container before you seal it.
If you don’t think you’ll eat the hot dogs within the next seven days, the best thing to do is freeze them so you can eat them at a later date.
Read the label before eating a cold hot dog
So there you have it: everything you need to know about eating hot dogs cold. We hope that the information provided in this blog post has given you a better understanding of whether or not it’s a good idea to consume hot dogs cold.
While a lot of hot dogs can be safely enjoyed cold, you’re always advised to check the label first. The last thing you want to do is take a risk and get food poisoning!
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