HOT DOGS were in the spotlight after the American Academy of Pediatrics called for their redesign. The traditional and convenient shape and size of the typical hot dog is also, unfortunately, perfectly sized to stop a child’s airway. Veteran food inventor Gene Gagliardi, head of Creativators and the mind behind Steak-umm and KFC’s Popcorn Chicken, is now pitching the Kinder Cut Hot Dog cutting machines.
The machine creates eight strategically placed slits up and down the sides of a hot dog, resulting in smaller pieces when it’s chewed. The head of the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council, Janet Riley, expressed doubt about a redesign last February, but she seemed more open to the idea several months later. Hot-dog-loving children everywhere can hold out hope, and so can their parents.
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U.S. soldiers in military posts around the world from Fort Meyers in Arlington, Va. to Okinawa, Japan to Aqaba, Jordon consumed 2.4 million hot dogs last year.
Statistic: 17 percent of all food-related asphyxiations involve hot dogs, according to the AAP analysis.