The Storage Mistake You Need To Avoid With Hot Dogs

A summertime staple though delicious year-round, hots dogs are a common offering of grocery stores and supermarkets all over, available in vacuum-sealed packages to preserve freshness. Already pre-cooked, they can be reheated in many different ways, and are easy to customize and elevate with a variety of different toppings. However, although hot dogs are an easy snack or meal, they can also be ruined if stored improperly. That storage mistake? Not keeping them cold.

As a perishable food item, hot dogs need to be kept cold and should not be left at room temperature for more than two hours — or even less if temperatures are high. So, once you purchase them at the grocery store, it's important to get home quickly and put them in the refrigerator or freezer right away. Also, make sure that your fridge is set to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below and your freezer to 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

Other tips for storing hot dogs

Unopened packages of hot dogs are good until the "use-by" or "expiration date" and within two weeks of the "best-by" or "sell-by" dates. Unopened packages of hot dogs without any dates listed will be good for two weeks. Once opened, hot dogs are good for one week, so be sure to use them all by then. If you can't, you can freeze the hot dogs to extend their shelf life. For the best quality, use those frozen hot dogs within two months.

To maximize the shelf life of hot dogs, it's important to store them properly. If the package is resealable, you can simply reseal the remaining hot dogs in the original package and store them back in the fridge. If the package is not resealable, place any unused hot dogs inside a Ziplock or other resealable bag or container. Don't forget to write down the date you opened the package. You should also store hot dogs away from strong odors in the fridge to prevent them from absorbing the scents, which can affect the taste.

You should also check for signs of spoilage in your hot dogs before consuming them. If there have been any changes in color, signs of mold, a slimy texture, or a sour or foul smell, then chances are your hot dogs have gone bad and should be thrown out.