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Food Safety Issues/Hot dog juice on hands/listeria concern


QUESTION: The other day I was at a friends house and went into their fridge to get a drink and accidently put my hand in hot dog juice. Normally, I would be worried about this, except for I am 32 weeks pregnant and know that hotdogs are a no no while pregnant, unless heated thoroughly. I immediately went over to the sink and washed my hands with warm soapy water dried them with a hand towel and then rewash them again and dried them using the same hand towel. Wasn't sure if I could have recontaminated my hands because I used the same hand towel?  Also, the hotdogs had been in their freezer for several months before they put them in their fridge to eat. Wasn't sure if that was a concer or not for listeria?
Thank You

ANSWER: Hi Natalie,

I would not be concerned with Listeria as you took immediate precaution measures of washing your hands after coming in contact with the hotdog juice.

While it is possible to contract Listeria from hotdogs, it is very remote as producers of hotdogs have developed strict protocols for processing and testing for Listeria in their products.  If any sign of Listeria is present they immediately recall the product, normally before it is even in the grocery stores.  

Keeping your hands washed and away from your eyes, nose and mouth will help you stay well through the rest of your pregnancy.

Best wishes.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you Carol for your quick response. You have put my mind at ease. I just wanted to double check with you that using the same hand towel to dry my hands in between washes would not have recontaminated my hands. I only ask because shortly after this happened I went out for pizza and wings and obviously used my hands to eat.
   Thank You,
        Natalie Harman

Hello again,

No -- I would not be concerned about the hand towel as a means of tranferring hot dog juice back to your clean hands.  Since you didn't touch the towel until after you washed your hands the chances of transferring any possible juices is extrememly small to non-existant.

Since you washed your hands twice I would feel very confident that you removed any possible hot dog juice that was on your hands and did not transfer it back to your hands before consuming pizza and wings.

Best wishes.


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Carol Schlitt


I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.


I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc -

National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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