Dennis Prager was discussing how ridiculous it was for pediatricians to call for a choke-proof hot dog on his radio show today. He learned of this latest effort at safety at all costs from a USA Today story that he linked to at his blog. The story has all the scary details about the grave dangers posed by our hopelessly outdated hot dog design. It also included a nice riptose from a pro-hot dog source:
Janet Riley, president of the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council, supports the academy's call to better educate parents and caregivers about choking prevention. "Ensuring the safety of the foods we service to children is critically important for us," Riley says.
But Riley questions whether warning labels are needed. She notes that more than half of hot dogs sold in stores already have choking-prevention tips on their packages, advising parents to cut them into small pieces. "As a mother who has fed toddlers cylindrical foods like grapes, bananas, hot dogs and carrots, I 'redesigned' them in my kitchen by cutting them with a paring knife until my children were old enough to manage on their own," Riley says.
Cutting the food yourself so that your children can't choke on it? A novel concept, but one unlikely to fly in our age of utter dependence on others to protect us from ourselves.
By the way, I have it on good authority that our own Saint Paul's dream job is to one day become president of the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council. Watch your back Janet.