Now that the warmer months are on their way to many regions of the United States and abroad, it is time to start thinking about all of the delectable cuisines that we will be preparing this summer that is appropriate for hot weather. The long-awaited arrival of summer foods such as tomatoes, corn, peaches, and cherries (as reported by Food & Wine) has us daydreaming about anything from luscious cobblers to sweet corn salads. To tell the truth, however, turning up the grill during the summer is undeniably the most enjoyable aspect of summertime cooking.
For us, summertime means firing up the charcoal or gas grill and feasting on a never-ending procession of grilled foods, including steaks, poultry, veggies, and even fruits like watermelon. In addition, the summer season is not complete until a variety of burgers and hot dogs are grilled over an open flame. When we are having a barbeque, many of us may stand about outdoors for many hours at a time. This means that the food that we are removing off the grill will often linger on the table for a considerable amount of time, as well. If you’re like most people, you’ve definitely grabbed a hot dog from a platter that’s been sitting outside all day. If so, are those hot dogs safe to eat? If not, how long can they stay out in the summer heat before being unsafe to consume?
Listen up if you routinely include hot dogs at your summertime picnics and like grilling food throughout the warmer months. It has been determined by researchers at Clemson University that those hot dogs should be consumed around one hour after they have been removed from the grill. Foodborne bacteria that may already be present in hot dogs, such as Listeria monocytogenes, have the potential to reproduce significantly more quickly in environments with an ambient temperature of at least 90 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes it unsafe to consume the wieners (via USDA).
According to Clemson University, grilled hot dogs have a little more time to hang around on platters and paper plates throughout the summer if temperatures are a touch colder in your neck of the woods than they are in other parts of the country, but not for more than two hours. After that, you should immediately place any remaining hot dogs in the refrigerator. When you are ready to consume those leftovers, you should completely reheat the hot dogs, making sure that they are hot and steaming all the way through, which will limit any chance of listeria infection (via USDA).