Are Raw Hot Dogs Safe To Eat? Here’s What Happens If You Do

Hot dogs are an everyday breakfast item but there is still strong contention over the safety of eating them raw. Many manufacturers indicate that the hot dogs are cooked before packaging but scientists have emphasized that that doesn't make it safe to eat them raw as they are typically undercooked and so, a haven of harmful microbes.

By Cookist

Many hot dogs on the market typically come in a package labeled that they are pre-cooked and so, safe to eat. But, although that is actually correct, health experts advise against doing so.

During manufacturing, hot dogs are typically cooked to a safe temperature for human consumption. But, when indicated otherwise on the package, you definitely shouldn't consume the hot dogs without cooking it first.

According to the FDA and numerous food scientists, hot dogs shouldn't be eaten straight out of their packaging as they commonly contain bacteria that might pose danger to your health. Furthermore, they should always be stored in a refrigerator and never left out at room temperature for too long to prevent the growth of such microbes.

Why You Shouldn't Eat Raw Hot Dogs


In rare cases, you may not develop adverse effects after eating raw hot dogs but you won't always be that lucky. Numerous studies show that there is a bacteria called Listeria which commonly replicates inside processed meat products like hot dogs.

The only way to get rid of this bacteria is by cooking it to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Although cooking generally renders such processedeats safe for consumption, pregnant women are advised to avoid hot dogs or deli meats because they contain certain types of bacteria. Although these bacteria are rarely found, they can pose extreme danger to the mother and child if present.

Still, the most popular remains Listeria which is considered rather dangerous because it can survive in various environments and even at extreme cold temperatures like in a refrigerator.

Is Listeriosis An Emergency Case?


Eating poorly cooked processed meats can lead to Listeriosis, a listeria infection, and land you in the emergency room with symptoms like:

  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscular aches
  • Vomiting

These symptoms typically develop within 1 and 4 weeks of consuming the bacteria, although there have been reports of symptoms up to 70 days after exposure.

Listeriosis is a type of food poisoning and should be treated as an emergency. If left untreated, it can worsen and lead to meningitis, septicemia or even death.

Golden Tips That'll Help You Avoid Listeria


These simple steps can help you lower your risks of contracting food poisoning:

  • Keep raw foods from those that are ready to consume to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Give your fresh produce a thorough rinse when you get home from your trip to the grocer's.
  • Foods that require cooking should be heated until they are thoroughly heated in the center.
  • If you open any packets of food, try to finish it within 2 days to reduce the risk of bacterial growth.
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