Hot Dogs

Is It Safe To Eat Cold Hot Dogs? – Ultimate Guide

Cooking Tips

Frankfurters, hot dogs, and sausages are all popular meals. They can be taken quickly cold as a snack from the fridge. We need to ask the question of whether or not it is safe to consume hot dogs cold. There are various answers to this question because we have various types of sausage out there that may require warming up or perhaps not needed before eating. Some are sometimes fully cooked but some do not get fully cooked. It is safe to consume a variety of hot dogs cold while some others may not be safe. Check out all you should know about whether you should eat your hot dogs cold or not.

Check the Label

One thing you should first do to have the knowledge about your sausage or hot dog is to try and check the package’s label. Provided it is written that they are cooked fully, then you can eat them cold. You will also get some other information on the labeling including how you should safely handle, in the nutrient and ingredients contents, and the cooking instructions. Instructions on handling are most times stated that they should be kept inside a fridge whether your sausages are raw, fully cooked, or partially cooked.

Labeling that state that the sausages or hot dogs are raw or partially cooked should not be eaten cold. This is because they might have constituents of bacteria on them or other nasty things that could result in illnesses such as food poisoning. The raw or partially cooked should be cooked fully before consumption. Ensure they are also taken straight away after cooking.


This is a type of bacteria that resides in water, animal waste, dust, soil, and other substances. Listeria is a major concern for people when they are eating cold hot dogs. Listeria causes food poisoning and results in illnesses of whoever has taken it. For healthy people that get contacts with listeria, they could get sick for some days. However, others who get infected could lead to serious or life-threatening sickness most especially to the elderly, babies, and pregnant women.

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Listeria could grow around areas where the temperature is cold like in a fridge. It is common in hot dogs or other deli meats that are not properly processed. This is why many people prefer to heat hot dogs rather than eat them cold. Achy muscles, fevers, nausea, and diarrhea are the common basic symptoms associated with listeria. You will need to seek medical attention immediately if you have experienced these symptoms.


Types of Sausages

You could get confused when you want to decide the type of sausage you need to cook before eating and those you can eat cold because there are various types you can select from. Sausages are made with red meat like veal, lamb, pork, beef, or sometimes from poultry including chicken and turkey.  If you want to stop sickness, every uncooked sausage containing veal, pork, lamb. or beef should get cooked to a temperature of 160°F. Those containing turkey or chicken should get cooked to a temperature of 165°F.

Sausages sold ready to consume are either cooked, dry, or semi-dry. They can be cooked, smoked, or unsmoked. Sausages that are semi-dry are normally fully cooked because they are heated in a smokehouse before it is partially dried. Sausages that have been cooked are usually fully cooked after which they can be packaged and smoked before they can be eaten.


Which Sausages You Can Eat Cold

It is okay to eat smoked or cooked sausage cold except it is stated otherwise on the package. They are usually made from different types of chopped or ground meats that are seasoned and cooked or smoked. The types of sausages that are in this category include:

  • Dried kielbasa
  • Braunschweiger
  • Cooked Thuringer
  • Cooked salami
  • Knockwurst
  • Cooked bratwurst
  • Bologna
  • Liverwurst
  • Hot dogs

They are popularly found in a deli section and you can keep them in a refrigerator for about one week before you eat them. You should always remember to check its label to know how to handle and store properly.

Which Sausages Should Be Cooked

You will always have to cook fresh sausages before you eat them. They are made with products of meat food that is reduced to finely or mince chopped. They can contain various types of by-products of meat including livers, kidneys, and hearts. These sausages are usually seasoned and cured. They sometimes contain binders that keep their shapes. They are needed to be thoroughly kept in the fridge and properly cooked before you eat. Check out the sausages that are in this category:

  • White kielbasa
  • Italian sausage products
  • Whole hog sausage
  • Breakfast sausage
  • Fresh beef sausage
  • Fresh pork sausage
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Safe Storage for Sausages

If you want to make sure that it is safe to consume your sausages, you need to practice safe storage. There are several different guidelines for storage because we have different sausage variant. Always pay attention to different dates written on the package and understand what they mean:

  • The ‘use-by’ date is to ensure the product is not consumed after the stipulated date. To ensure it has not gone off and still at peak quality, do not eat after the use-by date.
  • The ‘best if used by’ date denotes when to use the product to ensure you get the product’s best quality and flavor. It is a guideline of when best the product can be consumed.
  • The ‘sell-by’ date helps the selling store recognize how long the products can be stored before they are sold. This is to ensure the products are bought before this date expires.

How to Store Sausages

  • Semi-dry sausage: this sausage can stay in a fridge for three months if it is not opened and three weeks after it has been opened. You can also freeze them for about two months.
  • (Cooked sausages) Hot dogs: this type of sausage can stay in a fridge for about two weeks if not opened. One they are opened, they should be eaten within seven days. It can also stay frozen for two months.
  • Dry Sausage: it can stay for six weeks in a fridge if not opened. If it is opened, it will only take three weeks. You can also allow them to freeze for about two months.
  • Fresh sausage after home cooking: this type can stay in your fridge for three days and it can be allowed in a freezer for about three months.
  • Fresh uncooked sausage: this type can be in your fridge unopened or opened for about two days. It can be in a freezer for about two months if properly stored.
Hot Dogs
Hot Dogs

Can You Reheat Hot Dogs?

Whenever there are leftovers, probably from an overcooked lunch or a meeting, you can find yourself thinking if you can still enjoy your hot dogs leftover by reheating it the following day. It is quite fine to reheat your hot dogs if they are stored correctly. Check below for the best methods you can use to reheat your hot dogs:

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Oven: If you have a lot of hot dogs that you want to reheat, the oven is the best bet for you. Try to cover your baking sheet with foil and allow your oven to preheat to a temperature of 325°F. Arrange your hot dogs singly layered and proceed to cover them using aluminum so that they will not overcook. Allow your hot dogs to bake for about five minutes up until you can observe a slight color change and warm to your taste.

Microwave: When you want to rehear only a few of your hot dogs, using a microwave is the best option. Use your paper towel to wrap your hot dogs and allow it to heat on high for 30 seconds inside the microwave. You can heat them more if needed after you have tested for the temperature. You will realize it is overcooked if your hot dog splits at the edge.

Related Questions

Eating Hot Dogs Cold

If you want to eat cold hot dogs, first check the label if they are smoked or pre-cooked. You can know you are safe to take them cold this way. If the label states that they are raw or partially cooked, thoroughly cook them before you eat. If not you are at risk of getting exposed to listeria or some other bacteria that may cause you illness.

What is the best way to cook a hot dog?

Hot dogs can be cooked in a variety of ways, the best method is to heat them on your skillet. This will ensure that the best quality and flavor remains. All you need to do is to pour a small quantity of water in your skillet and allow it to heat up to when the water boils off. Put your hot dogs and allow it to cook.


Can I freeze cooked hot dogs?

Provided they are properly stored, you can allow your cooked hot dogs in a refrigerator for three days. In case you wish to use it at a later time, it is recommended you freeze them by placing them inside an airtight container or a freezer bag. They will stay for about two months this way. When you want to eat, all you need to do is to thaw them and reheat.


Can frozen hot dogs go bad?

You are recommended to store your hot dogs in the fridge for two months to get the best taste and quality. Even though it is still safe to eat if you keep them longer in the freezer than two months, they will not have the same quality or taste like fresh hot dogs any longer.

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