Can You Eat Raw Hot Dogs? What Are the Side Effects?

Hot dogs can be one of the most nutritious foods available when they’re made with the right ingredients, but they’re still far from being considered healthy.

That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them, but it does mean that you should be aware of some of their side effects, especially if you don’t cook them first. 

Don’t worry – we’re here to dispel myths and explain why you can and should eat your hot dogs cooked and whether raw hot dogs are dangerous. Read more about hot dogs and nutrition and what you need to look out for to ensure you enjoy these sausages safely.

Key Takeaways:

  • According to FDA, hot dogs should be reheated to a steaming hot state in order to eat safely
  • Eating raw hot dogs poses some risks since there is no way to know where the hot dog came from or how it was made
  • Cooking will kill any bacteria on the outside of the hot dog before it goes into your mouth
  • In general, it’s best to avoid undercooked meats because some bacteria can be dangerous when consumed

Is It Safe To Eat Hot Dogs Raw Or Undercooked?

Of course, you can eat raw or undercooked hot dogs, but you have to consider the risks of it. The main risk is the potential for food poisoning from bacteria like E. coli and salmonella, which are found in meat.

The chance of getting sick from a contaminated hot dog is low, but it’s not worth the danger, considering how easy it is to cook them. 

Cooking will kill any bacteria outside the hot dog before it goes into your mouth and decreases any chances of contamination while cooking.

If there were no safety concerns, eating raw hot dogs would be preferable because they take less space in the freezer, so if frozen, they wouldn’t need as much room. 

If people still want to eat uncooked hotdogs, then freezing is recommended; this way, the safety hazards are lowered and won’t affect the taste quality. 

When preparing raw hotdogs, make sure to wash hands thoroughly, separate meat and vegetables (raw), use separate cutting boards (or just one board) when slicing, and don’t forget to clean knives after each slice by rinsing off juices or soaking in water with lemon juice. 

Avoid touching other foods after handling these precautions because cross-contamination is always possible. It is best to place cooked hot dogs in an airtight container and store them in the fridge, preventing bacteria from spreading quickly.

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One last piece of advice: avoid microwaving or boiling your frankfurters because it doesn’t do enough to kill harmful organisms

When Does Raw Become Dangerous?

There are a few methods to tell if your hot dog is raw. 

  • First, you will see the meat’s pink color in the middle of the hot dog. 
  • Second, you can feel the heat coming off of it. 
  • Finally, you can look at the expiration date and make sure that it has passed. 

Raw hot dogs are not dangerous unless they contain bacteria such as E-coli or Salmonella. The most important thing when handling a raw hot dog is to wash your hands thoroughly after taking it.

The best way to enjoy these treats safely is by grilling them before eating them. They should be cooked until they’re crispy but not burned. 

If you don’t want to do this step, boil the hot dogs first. The third option is microwaving them for ten seconds at a time.

Be careful with this one because microwaves have been known to cause cancer and increase cancer risks. When microwaving hotdogs, be mindful of how long you microwave them. 

Cooking Hot Dogs Through Step-By-Step

Here is a step-by-step guide for cooking hot dogs.

  1. Fill a pot with water and place it on the stove to boil. 
  2. Place hot dogs in a single layer in a deep pan or pot. 
  3.  Allow to cook for 15 minutes, then use tongs to turn the hot dogs over and cook them for more 15 minutes, or until they are cooked through and have reached your desired level of crispiness. 
  4.  Remove from heat and drain excess liquid from the pan before eating! 
  5. To remove the hot dogs, you will need tongs or a fork. After that, have fun! 
  6. Then serve it.


You must keep hot dogs refrigerated for the duration of their shelf life as they are highly perishable items. For 20 seconds, wash hands with water and soap if you handle unheated hot dogs straight from the package. Cutlery, utensils, cutting boards, and countertops they came into contact with should also be washed.

Is There An Alternative Source Of Protein Out There Other Than Red Meat?

Yes! Many healthy, plant-based alternatives to red meat can be a suitable replacement for your diet. One alternative is lentils.

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Lentils are a legume that contains protein and fiber while also being low in fat. Other options include beans, peas, and quinoa. 

Nuts contain protein and healthy fats that help keep your body functioning correctly. They also offer essential nutrients such as vitamin E and magnesium, which provide health benefits.

However, nuts might be the best option if you are looking for more protein than all of these have combined! 

In addition, eating raw hot dogs poses some risks since there is no way to know where the hot dog came from or how it was made. Consuming raw hot dogs could lead to contamination from bacteria or pathogens like E ColiListeriaHepatitis A, etc. 

For this reason alone, eating raw hot dogs on their own would not be recommended without any other cooking methods applied. If you do decide to consume them raw, make sure to thoroughly wash them before consuming them.

Does It Matter What Type Of Meat You Eat?

No matter what type of meat you consume, it is best to cook it before eating it. The only exception might be if the meat is ground and thoroughly cooked. Be wary of cross-contamination with raw meat, and ensure you wash your hands after handling any raw meat. 

If a food item says uncooked or not heated on the package, no heat was applied to destroy bacteria in the food product. Most states require these foods to have labels, so consumers know about this risk before purchasing. 

Getting Your Protein From Meat

Eating meat is not always the healthiest way to get your protein. Protein can be found in other foods, such as nuts and beans, so you must eat a balanced diet and not rely on meat for all your protein needs. 

Cooking meats reduces the risk of contracting food-borne illnesses like salmonella or E. coli because heat kills bacteria. Cooking meats also decreases some nutrients like thiamin, riboflavin, and vitamin B6, which are reduced by up to 40% by high temperatures. 

While cooking destroys some beneficial nutrients, it may also destroy harmful ones (such as heterocyclic amines or HCAs) formed when meat is cooked at a high temperature without much water. Thus, there are pros and cons to both sides. 

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One thing that cannot be destroyed, no matter how it is prepared: is nitrates/nitrites from meat that is processed. These compounds may lead to the development of cancer in humans. It is hard to tell if raw hot dogs contain nitrates or nitrites since they aren’t required to list them on the label. 

The only time that these preservatives would be listed is if they are added during processing after the sausage has been made but before it has gone into its final package.

So whether you cook it or not, don’t go overboard with those pork chops! If you want to reduce your exposure, choose uncured hot dogs and limiting consumption of cured products (think bacon, ham, and bologna).

How Much Protein Do We Need In Our Daily Diet, And Where Can I Find It?

Protein is essential in a diet because it can provide energy and is necessary for many bodily functions. Furthermore, protein can regulate blood sugar levels, which can be especially important for people with diabetes. Many foods contain protein, such as eggs, milk, beans, tofu, and nuts.

Vegetarians may need to eat a more significant amount of protein than those who eat meat because they do not get the necessary amount from their diet. However, vegetarians can get enough protein by eating various plant-based foods. 

Generally, vegetarians believe they have an increased risk of getting certain types of cancer because they don’t consume red meat or animal products. However, this has been proven false; no conclusive evidence links vegetarianism and cancer risk. 

Eating raw hot dogs will not give you more protein than cooking them, but if you have any food allergies, eating them raw could worsen things.

Generally, avoiding undercooked meats is best because some bacteria can be dangerous when consumed. Some side effects of eating raw hot dogs include nausea and vomiting, which you might notice after eating one or two bites.

Final Words

There is still a possibility of Listeria bacteria infecting hot dogs, even though they are already cooked. Whether you heat them in boiling water, in a frying pan, or on the grill, you should always reheat them until they have a steaming quality.

Therefore, avoid eating raw dogs according to the information given above.