Can You Eat Uncooked Hot Dogs?

Last updated on August 31st, 2022 at 08:10 pm

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Hot dogs aren’t necessarily the healthiest food, but they are still a summertime favorite. Cooked over a bonfire or on the grill, smashed between buns and drizzled with ketchup and mustard, hot dogs are a classic food. 

Baseball games even sell hot dogs for fans to chow down on during innings. Hot dogs are commonly cooked, but can you eat uncooked hot dogs?

Surprisingly to many people, you actually shouldn’t eat uncooked hot dogs because it could be dangerous. Packaged hot dogs could have bacteria in them that is killed when you heat them thoroughly. Even though they are “ready-to-eat” , eating uncooked hot dogs isn’t a good idea.

Can You Eat Uncooked Hot Dogs?

Summer means barbeques and bonfires and this brings with it some yummy foods. Hamburgers and hotdogs are some common foods eaten during the warmer months since they can be cooked on a grill. You can enjoy the outdoors while cooking up some good food. 

But, what if you don’t have any means of cooking hot dogs and are craving some? Aren’t they already cooked before they are packaged, so they should be fine to eat right? 


Hot dogs are not okay to eat when they are uncooked. Sure, they are “ready-to-eat” but this doesn’t mean you aren’t supposed to heat them up first.

You should always heat hot dogs before you are going to eat them. There is a myth that since hot dogs are precooked it is okay to eat them raw, but this is actually untrue. Packaged hot dogs may come with a bacteria called Listeria that can only be killed if heated. 

So, don’t eat uncooked hot dogs and it is best to cook them until they are steaming hot. If you are unable to heat the hot dogs, don’t eat them to avoid health issues. Some hot dogs may be okay to eat uncooked and may not have any bad bacteria in them but it’s just better not to take a chance on this. 

So, no, you should not eat uncooked hot dogs. Find some way to heat them up before you enjoy them.

Is Eating Raw Hot Dogs Bad?

One of the most consumed foods eaten during summer holidays are hot dogs. This food comes packaged and all you have to do is heat them up to eat them. This can be done in an oven, by frying, grilling, or boiling them. 

Once heated, hot dogs are ready to eat. But, if you want to just eat one out of the package without heating it up, is eating raw hot dogs bad?

Eating raw hot dogs can be bad and make you sick, They could contain the harmful bacteria Listeria causing flu-like symptoms. You should always heat up hot dogs before eating them because eating raw hot dogs could be bad for you.

Not to be confused with being a sandwich, a hot dog is a sausage served in a bun and topped with condiments such as ketchup, mustard, or relish. This classic summer food was first sold at baseball games in 1893 and the tradition stuck with baseball stadiums everywhere serving fans with hot dogs during every game. 

There is a common misconception about eating raw hot dogs straight from the package that it is okay to do. However, it actually isn’t because they are meant to be heated up before eating them. Eating raw hot dogs can be bad for your health and you could get sick. 

It is said that some hot dog products may contain Listeria. If eaten, this bacteria can make you very sick with flu-like symptoms. So, always cook hot dogs before eating them because eating them raw can be bad and not taste as good as when they are cooked.

How Do You Know If A Hot Dog Is Undercooked?

Hot dogs are an easy food to cook. You can boil them, put them in the oven, fry them, or grill them. Hot dogs can even be cooked over an open fire for a smoky flavor. I already mentioned that you shouldn’t eat uncooked hot dogs and this includes undercooked ones, too. 

When cooking a hot dog, how do you know if it is undercooked?

You can tell if a hot dog is undercooked if it looks wrinkled and darker in color than when it came out of the package. Hot dogs are finished cooking when they are very hot and reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit. This can take just a few minutes and will taste better.

A hot dog is a very popular American food. They complete an Independence Day barbeque and are eaten during other Patriotic holidays as well. But, did you know that hot dogs are actually a European food? 

We don’t know who actually invented them but it is said they came from Vienna, Austria or Frankfurt, Germany. 

Hot dogs should be cooked before you eat them to avoid getting sick. One way to know if the hot dogs are undercooked is if they aren’t very hot and aren’t a wrinkly or darker color. If they still look like they did when they were in the package, then they need to cook for longer. 

If you are unsure if the hot dog is cooked thoroughly or not, check the temperature. The interior should be at 160 degrees Fahrenheit and piping hot.

Final Thoughts

So, in answer to the question, “can you eat uncooked hot dogs”, no, you cannot. Raw hot dogs could contain bacteria that is harmful to your health. 

So, you should always heat up the sausages before you eat them. 

You will know if the hot dogs are undercooked by the way they look and if they aren’t really hot with a temperature below 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Eating uncooked hot dogs can be bad and they definitely won’t taste as good. 

Don’t eat uncooked hot dogs and heat them up properly so you can enjoy them without risking getting sick. 

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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