Hot dogs and food safety: what consumers should know

February 17, 2014

Hot dogs and frankfurters are a beloved food throughout the world, especially during the warmer months of spring and summer, when more people begin to enjoy barbecues outdoors.

However, it’s important that you do not let the fun and sun distract you from important concerns such as food safety. Even the hot dog is capable of dishing up a significant bout of food poisoning if the right precautions are not taken.

Food safety risks

Although they’re sometimes pre-cooked foods, some of the safety measures that consumers should practice for other foods are still applicable to hot dogs. For example, once hot dogs have been prepared, it’s important that they are kept hot until they are served and eaten. If you are cooking outdoors, you could potentially keep them next to the grill rack, and indoors, you may keep them in the oven on a low temperature.

Preparing hot dogs safely

To ensure that your hot dogs are always safe to eat, make sure that you treat them as you would any other food.For example, hot dogs should be kept chilled when you are transporting them home after purchasing and then refrigerated immediately.

Pay close attention to the expiration date on your hotdog package, and ensure that any left-over hot dogs from barbecues are frozen or refrigerated within two hours of preparation.

Consuming hot dogs safely

When it comes to consuming hot dogs directly from the package, ensure that they have been handled with care and kept chilled prior to consumption. However, if you fall into a high risk category for health issues, it’s a good idea to avoid uncooked hot dogs entirely, as they are more likely to harbour bacteria. These people include elderly individuals, children that are five years old or younger, pregnant women, and those with a compromised immune system.