How long do hot dogs last in the refrigerator?

How long do hot dogs last in the refrigerator?


Hot dogs are a popular and convenient food choice for many people. Whether enjoyed at a backyard barbecue or a quick weeknight dinner, hot dogs are a versatile option. However, it’s essential to understand how long hot dogs can last in the refrigerator to ensure food safety and prevent any potential health risks. In this article, we will explore the shelf life of hot dogs in the refrigerator and provide some tips on storage and handling.

How long do hot dogs last in the refrigerator?

Hot dogs, when stored properly in the refrigerator, can typically last for about one week. It’s important to note that this duration may vary depending on various factors such as the brand, packaging, and the specific ingredients used in the hot dogs. Some hot dogs may contain preservatives that can extend their shelf life, while others may be more perishable.

To maximize the shelf life of hot dogs, it is crucial to store them in the refrigerator at or below 40°F (4°C). This temperature range helps slow down bacterial growth and maintain the quality of the hot dogs for a longer period. It is also recommended to keep the hot dogs in their original packaging until ready to use. Once opened, reseal the package tightly or transfer the remaining hot dogs to an airtight container or freezer bag.

Signs of spoilage

While hot dogs can last for about a week in the refrigerator, it’s important to be aware of signs of spoilage. If you notice any of the following signs, it is best to discard the hot dogs:

Unpleasant odor: If the hot dogs have a foul or off-putting smell, it is an indication that they have gone bad.

Change in color or texture: If the hot dogs appear discolored, slimy, or have a sticky texture, it is a sign of spoilage.

Mold growth: If you notice any mold on the hot dogs, it is best to discard them immediately.

It is crucial to prioritize food safety and avoid consuming hot dogs that show signs of spoilage.

Tips for storage and handling

To ensure the longevity and quality of hot dogs in the refrigerator, here are some helpful tips:

Check the expiration date: Before purchasing hot dogs, check the expiration date on the package. Choose the ones with the furthest expiration date to allow for more extended storage time.

Proper packaging: If you plan to store hot dogs for an extended period, consider dividing them into smaller portions and freezing them. Freezing can significantly extend their shelf life.

Label and date: When storing hot dogs in the refrigerator or freezer, label the packaging with the date of storage. This practice helps you keep track of their freshness and ensures you use them within a reasonable time frame.

Safe defrosting: If you decide to freeze hot dogs, defrost them safely in the refrigerator rather than at room temperature. This method helps maintain the quality and reduces the risk of bacterial growth.


Hot dogs can last for about one week in the refrigerator when stored properly. It is crucial to maintain a temperature of 40°F (4°C) or below and be aware of signs of spoilage such as an unpleasant odor, color or texture changes, and mold growth. By following proper storage and handling techniques, you can enjoy hot dogs safely and maximize their shelf life.


– USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service:
– FoodKeeper App: