Can you get sick from eating expired hot dogs?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you get sick from eating expired hot dogs?”, how to tell if the hot dogs are bad, what is the best way to store hot dogs, what is the shelf-life of hot dogs, and how to safely thaw hot dogs.

Can you get sick from eating expired hot dogs?

Yes, you can get sick from eating expired hot dogs. The expiry date of a food product is related to its safety. Once expired, the manufacturer does not take guarantee the safety of the food product. 

Frozen food such as hot dogs are known for harboring listeria; a pathogenic bacteria that causes food poisoning upon ingestion. Whether frozen or not, expired hot dogs should be tossed.

How to tell if the hot dogs are bad?

Expiration date: Expired hot dogs may be harmful to your health. Sometimes,s the hot dogs come with a best-by date instead of an expiry date. Make sure you finish your hot dogs within 1-2 weeks past the printed date and not any longer.

Smell: If the hot dogs give off a sour smell, discard them. 

Texture: Spoiled hot dogs develop a slimy film on their surface. If the hot dogs feel sticky to touch, get rid of them right away.

Mold: If the hot dogs become discolored or develop colored and fuzzy moldy patches, they need to be discarded immediately. Moldy hot dogs cause food poisoning. Do not try to wash off the surface mold and salvage the rest of the hot dog. It does not work like that.

What’s the best way to store hot dogs?

The most important thing is to keep your hot dogs at refrigerated temperatures at all times. When you are out for groceries, make hot dogs or any other frozen product the last thing your buy so that you can refrigerate them as soon as you get home.

Wrap the hot dogs in a plastic film or put them in a plastic pouch. Place the wrapped hot dogs in an air-tight container for bonus protection. Make sure the container has a tight lid with a sound seal.

Place the container near the ice tray, near the bottom or top of the fridge. Because this is the coldest spot in the fridge. The goal is to keep the temperature fluctuations to a minimum.

What is the shelf-life of hot dogs?

Unopened hot dogs

Refrigerate unopened hot dogs last about 2 weeks in the fridge. Freeze if you want your hot dogs to last for months 

Fresh hot dogs, opened

Once opened, do not keep the hot dogs in the fridge for more than a week. If frozen, finish your hot dog within 2 months of storage.

Cooked hot dogs 

Cooked hot dogs, stored properly in the fridge, last up to 4 days. If frozen, expect them to stay fresh for up to 4 months.

How to safely thaw hot dogs?

The ideal way to thaw hot dogs is by letting them sit in the fridge overnight or for 12 hours. This prevents the growth of harmful microbes because the hot dogs won’t pass through the ‘danger zone’.

The danger zone refers to the temperature range of 40F-140F. This temperature range is considered to be ideal for the growth of bacteria.

If you are strapped for time, you can resort to other quick thawing methods. Dump the hot dogs, wrapped tightly in plastic and placed in a freezer bag, into a bowl full of cool water. Leave it there for about 30 minutes.

If the hot dogs have not thawed completely yet, change the water and leave them for another 30 minutes. Repeat until the hot dogs are thawed and flexible.

Another method is to quickly defrost your hot dogs in the microwave. Turn the defrost setting of the microwave on. 

Place your hot dogs on a microwave-safe dish or plate and transfer them to the microwave. Microwave for bout 2-3 minutes or until thawed completely. Check for doneness after regular intervals. 

Conclusion 

In this article, we answered the question “Can you get sick from eating expired hot dogs?”, how to tell if the hot dogs are bad, what is the best way to store hot dogs, what is the shelf-life of hot dogs, and how to safely thaw hot dogs.

References 

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