Can you get sick from eating expired hot dogs?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you get sick from eating expired hot dogs” with an in-depth analysis of the health implications of eating expired hot dogs. 

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Can you get sick from eating expired hot dogs?

Expired hot dogs or hot dogs that have gone bad contain a lot of bacteria like Salmonella, Listeria, and Staphylococcus aureus which can result in food poisoning.

So if you have devoured hot dogs that have gone bad, it can result in food poisoning that is characterized by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, weakness, headaches, and dehydration.

A mild food poisoning lasts for about a day or two while a more persistent case of food poisoning can last for about 10 days.

  1. Diarrhea is an indication of the body that a certain obnoxious agent has entered it. So consumption of expired or bacteria-laden hot dogs often causes diarrhea.
  1. Food poisoning after consuming bad hot dogs is characterized by abdominal pain. Abdominal pain is also accompanied by vomiting and nausea in most cases.
  1. If you have consumed hot dogs that have bacterial growth on them then you will experience nausea and vomiting which is the natural defense of the body to get rid of the unwanted harmful substance that has entered the body.
  1. Consuming hot dogs that have gone bad will also raise your body temperature and you can experience fever which is the natural defense mechanism of your body and is the indicator that something is off with your body.

So in case you have devoured bad hot dogs and are now suffering from vomiting and diarrhea,  you should try to drink as much water as possible so that while the body is getting rid of the toxins in form of diarrhea and vomiting, the water that you drink will protect your body against dehydration that vomiting can otherwise result in.

Moreover, the symptoms of severe and potentially life-threatening food poisoning involve diarrhea persisting for more than 3 days, fever higher than 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit, symptoms of severe dehydration, and bloody urine. In such a case, you should seek medical help immediately.

It is worth mentioning that when it comes to hot dogs, then you will find a “sell by” and “use-by” date on it rather than the “expiry date”.

Unopened hot dogs last for about 2 weeks past the sell-by date when stored properly in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Once opened, it is recommended to use your hot dogs within 7 days (keep them properly refrigerated at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit this whole time). 

It is worth mentioning that you should do the sensory evaluation of the hot dogs, before deciding whether or not you are going to eat them.

Certain indicators point out bad hot dogs, therefore you should consider the color, texture, and smell of your hot dogs to reach a final verdict whether it has gone bad or not.

Color 

If you can notice that the color of the hot dogs has changed to grey-green or brown then it is the indication that your hot dogs are past their prime time.

Texture 

If you feel something slimy or gooey while touching the hot dogs then it means that your hot dogs have gone bad and it is better to discard them. 

But keep one thing in mind that rinsing the hot dogs won’t help you in this scenario as you won’t be able to get rid of the bacteria. Rather rinsing the bacteria-laden hot dogs will put you at risk of cross-contamination as the bacteria will spread in the utensils and other food items that will come in contact with the water from the hot dogs that have gone bad.

Smell 

If you smell something sour, putrid, or ammonia-like while taking a sniff test of your hot dogs then it means that your hot dogs have gone bad and you should discard it.  

Vulnerable populations

No doubt that consuming bad hot dogs will induce food poisoning in the individuals that consume them but some vulnerable populations are more prone to food poisoning if they consume bad hot dogs. They are

  1. Elderly people especially those that are above the age of 65
  1. Children that are aged under 5 as their immune system is weak as compared to the adults
  1. Pregnant women
  1. Immunocompromised people have a very weak immune system and are already suffering from diseases like HIV or the people that have recently got a transplant or have gone through surgery.

Therefore such people should take more care while consuming food and should always check if the hot dogs they are going to consume are good or spoiled.

How to properly store hot dogs?

You should always store your hot dogs at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit therefore it is always advised to store your hot dogs at a lower temperature to preserve their freshness and quality for a long time.

You should never let your hot dogs sit out for more than 2 hours. The hot dogs last for about 2 hours when kept at room temperature (1 hour if the temperature is 90 degrees Fahrenheit or more). You should discard the hot dogs that have been left in open for more than 2 hours as bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40°F and 140°F, therefore there are greater chances of the hot dogs are already contaminated with bacteria when left out for more than 2 hours at the room temperature.

It is advised to always store the hot dogs on the shelf of the refrigerator rather than the door as there can be a lot of temperature fluctuations at the door of the fridge that can degrade the quality of the hot dogs.

In case you want to freeze the hot dogs, it is best practice to wrap them in heavy-duty aluminum foil or thick plastic wrap before putting them in a plastic freezer bag. By doing so you will prevent freezer burns on your hot dogs.

You can read how to make hot dogs here.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you get sick from eating expired hot dogs” with an in-depth analysis of the health implications of eating expired hot dogs. 

Citations

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-that-cause-food-poisoning#TOC_TITLE_HDR_6

http://www.eatbydate.com/proteins/meats/hot-dogs-shelf-life-expiration-date/

https://www.bustle.com/articles/106797-7-foods-you-should-never-eat-past-the-expiration-date

https://www.kitchensanity.com/food/how-long-do-hot-dogs-last/

https://www.foodnewsnews.com/news/can-you-eat-expired-hot-dogs/

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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.

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