Can You Eat Raw Hot Dogs? 

Certain foods can be eaten without cooking, including lunch meats and some other already cured or cooked meats. Hot dogs have been a debatable food that has been considered when it comes to raw consumption. Are hot dogs something that should be eaten raw? 

While some say it is safe to eat raw hot dogs, hot dogs should be heated to an internal temperature of 140°F to be entirely sure. Raw hot dogs can be pre-cooked before packaged, but that doesn’t mean they are safe to eat right out of the package. Raw hot dogs can contain a bacteria called Listeria that can make some people very sick. 

Some people can indeed eat a raw hot dog and be just fine. While it is not advised to eat raw hot dogs, some questions pop up from the people who do. Hot dogs can be frozen and thawed and eaten that way as well. Most of the time, eating a raw hot dog doesn’t end up in any gastrointestinal misadventures, but just in case, here is some more information.

Can You Eat Hot Dogs Out of the Package?

Hot dogs are generally pre-cooked before they are packaged and can be safe to eat while cold. You can eat hot dogs out of the package, but it is suggested to preheat hot dogs before eating them. This can lessen the chance of getting sick from a bacteria called Listeria. 

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Can You Eat Cold Uncooked Hot Dogs?

Cold uncooked hot dogs may sound like a tasty and easy snack for some, especially if you are on the go. Is it okay to eat cold uncooked hot dogs? Cold uncooked hot dogs may have the potential to make some sick. If you have a compromised immune system, are younger, older, or pregnant, heat up hot dogs before consuming them. This will help to kill the bacteria that can be present on the surface and within the meat. 

What Happens if You Eat an Undercooked Hot Dog?

Eating an undercooked hot dog or two often won’t cause any overt gastrointestinal distress. If there are bacteria like Listeria present, an average, healthy person will usually experience some food-borne illness symptoms. It is best advised that hot dogs are heated up to  140°F to ensure no bacteria are present within the hot dog.

Can You Eat a Cooked Hot Dog Without Reheating It?

Cooked hot dogs are on a different level than raw hot dogs. Because the hot dog has already been cooked, it can be considered safe to eat within two hours at room temperature and up to seven days if it is in the fridge. You can eat a cooked hot dog without reheating it in a snap. It is important to note that cooked hot dogs can contain more moisture and grow mold easier if not wrapped correctly. 


Raw hot dogs are often a topic of debate. You can eat raw hot dogs straight from the package, but there may be a risk. While some hot dogs are precooked before they are packaged, many hot dogs may still contain bacteria like Listeria. These bacteria can make people sick, especially those with compromised immune systems. While it is unlikely you will become severely ill from eating one or two uncooked hot dogs in your lifetime, the elderly, children, and pregnant women should definitely avoid undercooked and uncooked hot dogs of any kind.