Can you eat SpaghettiOs cold?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you eat spaghettios cold?” and the risks related to eating unheated spaghettiOs.

Can you eat SpaghettiOs cold?

Yes, you can eat Spaghettios cold. You can, but it’s not very appetizing. Alternatively, you may reheat it. Because canned food has already been cooked, there’s no need to reheat it. 

However, you should not eat SpaghettiOs cold when the product has been stored open in the refrigerator. Once you open a canned SpaghettiOs, you should either consume it integrally or you should store it in a covered container for 3 to 4 days and eat it later, after being reheated to a safe temperature of 165°F or above (1).

Is it possible to consume canned food without heating it first?

Yes, canned food may be eaten without being previously reheated. Canned food is sterilized through intense heat treatment, which enables the food to be safely stored at room temperature, not requiring additional processing to be consumed. 

Thermal processing as a principal and traditional method for inactivation of microorganisms is still the most common treatment for pasteurization and elimination of foodborne pathogens as well as spoilage microorganisms in food products. But heat can adversely affect the quality of food and degrade the nutritional value of the product (2).

However, thermal processing ensures the safety of food when the can is unopened. Therefore, you may consume canned food cold immediately after opening the can. Once the can is opened, do not leave an opened can at room temperature for over 2 hours. If you don’t consume the canned food, transfer it to a covered container and store it for 3 to 4 days. After that, you should reheat your leftover canned food to a temperature of 165°F or above (1).

What are the risks of consuming SpaghettiOs without heating it first?

The risks of consuming SpaghettiOs without heating it first may happen when the SpaghettiOs has been previously opened and stored. 

Properly processed and canned food will be sterile and considered safe and can be stored at room temperature for long periods without spoiling or causing risk. Once the can is opened, the food is susceptible to contamination by external microorganisms. 

These microorganisms are capable of growing in food and producing toxins or contaminating the individual who consumes the food. Therefore, canned food products should be consumed immediately after opening. If food is stored and not consumed immediately after opening, it may pose a risk to the consumer (3).

Opened and stored canned food are susceptible to microbial contamination, which may cause foodborne illnesses. Foodborne illness occurs when a pathogen is ingested with food and establishes itself (and usually multiplies) in the human host, or when a toxigenic pathogens establishes itself in a food product and produces a toxin, which is then ingested by the human host (5).

Clostridium botulinum, C. perfringens, Bacillus subtilus, Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium botulinum, Listeria monocytogenes, and Yersinia enterocolitica are included within the most common microorganisms causing foodborne poisoning worldwide. Symptoms of foodborne illnesses include abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea, vomiting, fever, muscular pain, headache and others.

Why should you eat SpaghettiOs only after heating it first?

You should eat SpaghettiOs only after heating it first due to organoleptic aspects and due to safety aspects, in the case of previously opened and stored SpaghettiOs. 

According to studies, the temperature of the food changes its sensory properties and its satiety with heated foods rated as more satiating than cold foods. Hot foods appear to suppress appetite by raising body temperature and warmed-up food brings out the presumably pleasant flavor in the food (6).

Regarding the food safety aspects of canned foods that have been previously opened and stored in the refrigerator or freezer, they should be reheated prior to consumption, as opened canned food are no longer microbiologically safe and can be a host of pathogens.

An effective method for reducing possible pathogens in food and therefore increasing its safe intake is cooking or boiling or reheating cooked food, in which microorganisms are destroyed by the effect of high temperatures.

Studies show that cooked and properly stored food have reduced microbial contamination after being then reheated in the oven or in the microwave. However, the reheating must be uniformized through stirring, because non-uniform temperatures occasionally found after microwave reheating may be not sufficient to reduce numbers of foodborne pathogens (4).


In this article, we answered the question “Can you eat spaghettios cold?” and the risks related to eating unheated spaghettiOs.


  1. Leftovers and Food Safety. United States Department of Health.
  2. Bahrami, Akbar, et al. Efficiency of novel processing technologies for the control of Listeria monocytogenes in food products. Trend Food Sci Technol, 2020, 96, 61-78.
  3. Betts, Roy. Microbial update. Int Food Hygiene, 2014, 19, 3.
  4. Heddleson, Ronald A., and Stephanie Doores. Factors affecting microwave heating of foods and microwave induced destruction of foodborne pathogens–a review. J Food Protect, 1994, 57, 1025-1037.
  5. Bintsis, Thomas. Foodborne pathogens. AIMS microbiol, 2017, 3, 529.
  6. Stroebele, Nanette, and John M. De Castro. Effect of ambience on food intake and food choice. Nutrition, 2004, 20, 821-838.

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