The hot dog industry was placed under the spotlight this past Monday when the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended that hot dog makers change the shape of the tubular food item in order to be less of a choking hazard for kids.Â The recommendation also targeted â€œhard candy, whole grapes, raw carrots, peanut butter, chewing gum, marshmallows, peanuts/nuts, popcorn and sausages.â€Â
Now, I am as much against kids choking to death as the next guy, but come on â€“ tube-shaped foods are popular because mouths are round and they are easier to eat.Â Round peg, meet round hole.Â Hot dogs, brats, sausages, subs (grindersÂ to the NE crowd), burritos, enchiladas, popsicles, etc. are all cylindrical, and mighty tasty.Â Should they be redesigned because they are a potentially dangerous? â€“ No.Â OK, so kids eat hot dogs more than the other foodsÂ â€“ solution: either donâ€™t buy hot dogs for kids (also preventing childhood obesity â€“ a plus), or cut them up!Â Problem solved.Â The same thinking applies to all the other foods that the AAP is warning people against.Â Letâ€™s all use a little common sense here so that we donâ€™t have to enjoy government-mandated hot dog shakes at the next ball game (extra kraut in mine).
Speaking of the ball game, choking is not the only danger posed by wieners, as seen at a Kansas City Royals game last season here.