"Choking Warning: Eat one at a time."
February 22, 2010 8:07 PM   Subscribe

Sage advice when you're eating marshmallows. Now pediatricians want to redesign hot dogs so kids don't choke on them.
posted by treeshar (112 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
... approximately 66 to 77 children under 10 die from choking on food every year, the policy statement says. Hot dogs are behind about 17 percent of these food-related asphyxiations...

I'm not sure how many things besides hot dogs kill more than 13 children a year. But my guess would be: A lot.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:14 PM on February 22, 2010 [12 favorites]


Seriously? Is this just hot dogs, or all sausages?

Seth: They literally stopped me from eating foods that were shaped like dicks. No hot dogs, no popsicles... You know how many foods are shaped like dicks? The best kinds.
posted by axiom at 8:16 PM on February 22, 2010 [8 favorites]


Of all the dreadful things hot dogs make me worry about, asphyxiation is actually not that high on the list.
posted by cirripede at 8:17 PM on February 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


> approximately 66 to 77 children

So, that's like...what, 58 to 85 kids?
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:18 PM on February 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


Once I was old enough to be out of their supervision during meals (that is, at school) I remember my parents just told me that I could choke to death because the hot dog would fit perfectly in my airway. And that I should make sure to bite it in half first. Considering I still remember that they told me this, I seemed to have retained that lesson.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:22 PM on February 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


You could also just not feed your kid wieners or marshmallows. They'll survive.
posted by biddeford at 8:28 PM on February 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


First Death Panels now this.
posted by Scoo at 8:31 PM on February 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


Well since we know hot dogs are dangerous we can be more, you know, vigilant and stuff.
posted by nola at 8:33 PM on February 22, 2010


FINE, we'll just KEEP ON letting the Japanese beat us at EVERYTHING. Hot dogs, math, you name it.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:34 PM on February 22, 2010


Warning: Do not lick electrical sockets. Magical unicorns inside will come out and jump over a rainbow leading to a mountain of chocolate.
posted by msbutah at 8:34 PM on February 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


This has been a strange couple of weeks for sausages.
posted by grouse at 8:36 PM on February 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Funny how the pediatricians seem less concerned with what is actually in hot dogs. They might as well remind us that cigarettes can be a choking hazard for kids who smoke.
posted by troybob at 8:37 PM on February 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


Don't be silly troybob, kids don't smoke anymore. Didn't you read about them taking peach flavored tobacco off the market?
posted by nola at 8:39 PM on February 22, 2010


I don't worry. Not only am I not a kid and not having any kids, I get my dogs at Let's Be Frank, which is about as chichi organic free-range as a hot dog gets.

However, if redesigning a hot dog so it isn't a pediatric esophageal plug results in larger hot dogs? All for it.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 8:41 PM on February 22, 2010


Just put the hot dog on the bun sideways. Problem solved.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 8:42 PM on February 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


Great idea!

I think hot dogs should be shaped like little donuts.
posted by jamjam at 8:43 PM on February 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


A woman I knew was stuck in Austin, TX traffic (this must have been a decade or so ago) and her five year old daughter reached into the Whole Foods bag and grabbed a handful of grapes and tried to see how many she could get into her mouth. By the time her mother got out of traffic and looked over her shoulder, her daughter was dead of asphyxiation. And my wife, to this day, gives our kids grapes three at a time. True story.
posted by ColdChef at 8:44 PM on February 22, 2010


I heart hot dogs.
posted by Point n Click at 8:46 PM on February 22, 2010


By the time her mother got out of traffic and looked over her shoulder, her daughter was dead of asphyxiation.

Sweet Jesus.
posted by nola at 8:48 PM on February 22, 2010


Now pediatricians want to redesign hot dogs so kids don't choke on them.

Now corporations are lining up to provide "kid safe" food. Like that's gonna sell.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:49 PM on February 22, 2010


I think if I saw someone in a public park grilling redesigned "kid safe" hot dogs next to one of the over-padded monstrosities that passes for a "play ground" these days, I would fly into a terrifying, "kids-these-days"-fueled rage.
posted by brundlefly at 8:54 PM on February 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pity the parents of today, terrified of fucking everything.

But pity their poor kids even more.
posted by you just lost the game at 8:58 PM on February 22, 2010 [12 favorites]


Have none of these people heard of cutting kids' food?
posted by cmgonzalez at 9:01 PM on February 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is why kids should have swords; so that they can cut their hotdogs into bite-sized pieces.
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:05 PM on February 22, 2010 [18 favorites]


Redesigned hot dog. Much safer.
posted by mazola at 9:06 PM on February 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Grease the hot dogs so they slide down throats more easily.
Make the hot dogs out of marshmallows, which are safer.
Make the hot dogs too big to fit in a human mouth.
Fill the hot dogs with hydrogen.
Institute a National Hot Dog Safety Awareness Day.
Subject hot dog CEO's to Congressional hearings.
Put the hot dogs in concentration camps.
posted by swift at 9:11 PM on February 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


Trying to redesign the world to suit the tendency of little kids to stick inappropriate things down their throats is a fool's errand. Redesign hot dogs to be narrower, say, and some budding rocket scientist will stuff three of them down there at once. Just, you know, watch your damn child, and make sure to cut up his hot dogs before you give them to him.
posted by killdevil at 9:14 PM on February 22, 2010


Yeah, what's the problem? My mom used to cut those bad-boys in half (2 of them) and lay them between two pieces of wonder bread. Little pimento-cheese or Miracle Whip to spice things up-top... some grape Kool Aide for a drink.

Damn, choking was the least of our problems.
posted by Kloryne at 9:17 PM on February 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


how many of the deaths were young girls trying to practice deep throat?

Stay classy, Slashfood commenters.
posted by crapmatic at 9:19 PM on February 22, 2010


I agree, let us denounce these parento-fascists!

Don't they realize that there's limited fridge space in grocery stores for hotdogs? Adult hotdogs (heh) would be displaced by these new child-death-free hotdogs, leading to a higher chance that they'd run out, inconveniencing people by making them go to another store and hurting the environment through increased carbon emissions.

This cannot stand! I'm sorry, but there's no other way: children must die. Deepest condolences, parents.
posted by AlsoMike at 9:19 PM on February 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


When I was like 8 or 9, my sister choked on a fireball candy. We were alone in the house. I thumped her on the back a few times, and she coughed it up and then screamed at me for not calling 911.

And for knocking over the chair she was rocking back in while eating said fireball candy.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 9:21 PM on February 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Count me in as "haven't these people ever heard of cutting up the food?"
posted by desuetude at 9:24 PM on February 22, 2010


bitter-girl.com: The US has managed to regain the advantage in competitive eating. Joey Chestnut is an amazing eater.

But you have to wonder if this hasn't upset the Japanese or other some other country and hence the are pressing to have hot dogs altered in the US to stop future champion eaters.
posted by sien at 9:24 PM on February 22, 2010


WARNING:

This is food. Food may be a choking hazard if consumed incorrectly. Please consult enclosed instructions for appropriate methods of consumption before proceeding to eat this product.

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Prepare as directed on the side of the box.
2. Insert partially into mouth.
3. Bite off a small portion, taking care not to bite fingers.
4. Mash and/or grind bitten portion with teeth, taking care not to grind the teeth themselves or bite the tongue, lips, or cheek.
5. Swallow the resulting mash.
6. Repeat from step 2.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:26 PM on February 22, 2010 [12 favorites]


Oh, come on, people! Pediatricians want to publish papers too.
posted by c13 at 9:27 PM on February 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Another Onion article come to life... Ball Park Introduces Foot Wide Hot dog
I have to question the priority and the feasibility of this project compared with teaching parents to teach their kids to chew.

Not easy to find this googling for "hot dog" and "onion".
posted by amethysts at 9:28 PM on February 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Coat them in french fries, there's no way you can get a whole one in your gob.
posted by tellurian at 9:31 PM on February 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


fairytale of los angeles : However, if redesigning a hot dog so it isn't a pediatric esophageal plug results in larger hot dogs? All for it.

amethysts: I have to question the priority and the feasibility of this project compared with teaching parents to teach their kids to chew.

I'd like to join you in support of larger hot dogs. One of the keys to hot dog safety is chewing. Making hot dogs smaller seems to me to encourage more single bites and discourages chewing. Larger hot dogs may result in bites that require more chewing before any attempt to swallow.
posted by inconsequentialist at 9:33 PM on February 22, 2010


Luckily I have a laptop with a webcam, so someone is monitoring my hot-dog eating.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:33 PM on February 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Also: Life Savers, schmife schmavers. Give the kid a Chicken Bone. Sure, they're named and modeled after a notorious choking hazard, but what could possibly go wrong?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:35 PM on February 22, 2010


I heard a similar story, ColdChef. This may be the work of a serial grapist.
posted by dr_dank at 9:35 PM on February 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I feel sorry for parents these days. Give your kids regular hot dogs and you are a BAD PARENT who wants to kill children; give them modern safety hot dogs and you are a BAD PARENT who wants to overprotect them to death. Can't win.
posted by Forktine at 9:36 PM on February 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Is chewing still a thing?
posted by sarahw at 9:36 PM on February 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


Perhaps redesign children to not be so bloody stupid?
posted by pompomtom at 9:38 PM on February 22, 2010 [14 favorites]


Is chewing still a thing?

It's an option for whose with experience.
posted by inconsequentialist at 9:40 PM on February 22, 2010


I feel sorry for parents these days. Give your kids regular hot dogs and you are a BAD PARENT who wants to kill children; give them modern safety hot dogs and you are a BAD PARENT who wants to overprotect them to death. Can't win.

You know, you could always try not feeding your kids ground up pig anuses. Win!
posted by Sys Rq at 9:40 PM on February 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


These stories are terrifying! Everyone who doesn't know how to perform the Heimlich maneuver needs to learn it, right now. Please be sure to learn how to do it on yourself, in case you choke on something when no one else (or no one competent) is around.

Actually in looking it up, I guess it's now "five and five." First whale on their back five times. If that doesn't work, apply the Heimlich.
posted by ErikaB at 9:44 PM on February 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Pity the parents of today, terrified of fucking everything.

But pity their poor kids even more.


I think it's the result of so many single-child households. When you don't have a couple of spares, you worry a lot more.

Five kids in my family: my mother left us to our own devices. We all made it...barely.

But you're right, I do feel sorry for the kids, caught in the carbon-arc glare of their parents' protective eyes.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 9:50 PM on February 22, 2010


Wow, is it ever obvious that most of you have no kids.
posted by oddman at 9:59 PM on February 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


Luckily I have a laptop with a webcam, so someone is monitoring my hot-dog eating.


So you were that weirdo eating hotdogs on ChatRoulette. Not cool, man.
posted by defenestration at 10:02 PM on February 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sounds like approximately 66 to 77 kids per year have lethally-inattentive parents.
posted by now i'm piste at 10:11 PM on February 22, 2010


So you were that weirdo eating hotdogs on ChatRoulette. Not cool, man.

Heh, that's exactly what I was thinking. Those were hot dogs, I swear!

(I'm still traumatized from ChatRoulette. People are gross.)
posted by pecknpah at 10:15 PM on February 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow, is it ever obvious that most of you have no kids.

Clearly, if there were parents here they wouldn't dare suggest chewing.
posted by setanor at 10:28 PM on February 22, 2010


Dr. Gary Smith and company are really scraping the bottom of the barrel for new and exciting "injury research."

You'd think the choice between "kneeing yourself in the face while snowboarding" and "choking on hot dogs" would go the other way.
posted by edguardo at 10:29 PM on February 22, 2010


Wow. So, when I was a little kid, my grandmother (a retired nurse who lived with us) always insisted on butterflying my hot dogs. It used to annoy the crap out of me because a splayed-out thing was NOT THE PLATONIC IDEAL OF A HOT DOG, as seen in cartoons, television shows, etc., and I wanted a REAL, ROUND HOT DOG LIKE EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WHOLE WORLD GOT. I never understood why she would never make me one.

I totally get it now. Thanks, Grandma. You were saving me from dying of gelatinized beef-scrap inhalation and I never knew.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 10:31 PM on February 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


And my wife, to this day, gives our kids grapes three at a time. True story.

You can also cut them in half lengthwise for extra paranoia. Pisses kids right off because they don't get the grapey burst.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:06 PM on February 22, 2010


Maybe it's a Japanese thing, but I was in 3rd grade before my mom gave me a hot dog that wasn't cut into an octopus. I continued the tradition with my son*, who encountered his first intact hot dog at a ball game when he was 7 and asked the bewildered vendor what happened to its legs.

*not so much because I was worried he was going to choke but because hot dog octopuses are teh cute.
posted by jamaro at 11:08 PM on February 22, 2010 [25 favorites]


If you microwave them right you can get curly octopus legs. It is awesome and maybe your child won't yell at you for ruining hot dogs FOREVER (meaning the next 10 minutes)
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:12 PM on February 22, 2010


Yep, cutting them first and then cooking in hot water will curl the legs too. And if you poke holes in their heads with a toothpick before cooking, the skin around the holes sort of inverts and turn into little bulging eyes!

Actually, the more I write about this, the less cute this sounds. I'll stop now.
posted by jamaro at 11:15 PM on February 22, 2010 [9 favorites]


They already redesigned the hot dog. Interestingly it bears a passing resemblance to this article. It's called bologna.

Seriously, what are you going to redesign a hot dog as? Vienna Sausages? SPAM? Potted meat product? Here, let's just throw it all in a blender with some pop tarts, chicken nuggets, marshmallows and some purple catsup and feed all kids through a tube. It'll go great with the padded boxes you'll need to keep them so a stiff breeze doesn't cause them to spontaneously shatter the second they're outside of their air conditioned and oxygen-enriched cable-TV equipped fat-o-trons.

Prediction: The human race is going to end up square shaped like the "square pigs" in the movie Space Truckers, except with an aspect ratio of 16:9 on the one side that ends up being covered in atrophied optical nerves.

Damn, now I want a hot dog. Straight out of the package.
posted by loquacious at 11:15 PM on February 22, 2010 [8 favorites]


Dr. Gary Smith and company are really scraping the bottom of the barrel for new and exciting "injury research."

I'm sure there are real-life tragedies behind this as well. You know that a few years down the line, when all hot dogs have some cool new shape, that everybody's going to be all like 'oh yeah, it's common sense' like how we are now with seatbelts. But also, when they dramatize this story and like Scarlett Johansson is playing the mom of an only child whose father was killed in the war, and the child chokes to death on a hot dog in a manner complete blameless for the mother but entirely condemning of the hot dog industry, and the mother then makes it her life cause to change the dangerous hot-dog shape, and she meets up with deli-meat researcher Dr. Gary Smith (Tom Hanks) and they take it to court, fighting the evil Oscar Meyer guys whose case is headed up by like that guy who plays Hannibal Lecter's psychiatrist, which protracted case is ended when the judge (Andy Griffith, in his final role) is charmed by a little girl with no hair who has devised the clever solution of turning hot dog meat into a line of edible child-jewelry for girls and superhero masks for boys, both adorned with exquisite solid mustard- and ketchup-jewels that complete the look and effectively condimentize lunch, well then you, just like the rest of us, will cheer and wipe away a tear when the defense lawyer, moved, gives in and agrees that the hot-dog industry will swear off cylinders, and you, too, will be moved onward to elation when he offers the little girl an exclusive hot-dog theme-development contract, and finally, when, case resolved, Tom Hanks puts his hand on Scarlett Johansson's, and they look at each other seemingly for the first time, and you just know it is meant to be. Believe me, by then you will wonder that anyone not born of a jackal would dare argue against this.
posted by troybob at 12:01 AM on February 23, 2010 [10 favorites]


Ze Germans figured this one out already - currywurst cutter.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:22 AM on February 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


This would never have happened if hot dogs were still shaped like dogs, like the good Lord intended.
posted by problemspace at 12:27 AM on February 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


New High-Viscosity Mayonnaise To Aid In American Swallowing
posted by Rhaomi at 2:43 AM on February 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Let me just jump in and reiterate what ErikaB said above: learn how to save someone who's choking. It happens a lot, and not just to kids. It's pretty easily resolved, even on yourself. Meanwhile, this study shows it's even more dangerous for old folks. Does no one think of the wrinklies when redesigning hotdogs?!
posted by chavenet at 3:35 AM on February 23, 2010


I think hot dogs should be shaped like little donuts.

I present to you the donut dog.
posted by jeremias at 4:33 AM on February 23, 2010


Slicing hot dogs to make octopodes? Pah, if you really love your kids you make them into turtleburgers!
posted by PontifexPrimus at 4:41 AM on February 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


When I was fresh out of college one of my first jobs in the real world was managing a group home for mentally retarded, multiply diagnossed adults (adults who were both mentally retarded and diagnossed with at least two other conditions). We occasionally had hot dogs or sausages. I had never before, nor have I since used the heimlich maneuver, but every time we served hotdogs or sausages to the residents we had to do it. We even had a two-fer synchronized heimlich one time. To this day I cut sausages into tiny little bits for my kids and watch them like a hawk for any signs of airway distress.
posted by Pollomacho at 4:51 AM on February 23, 2010


I just thought that when you choke on a hotdog, the ghost of a pediatrician who yearned to play professional baseball would appear and slap you on the back to dislodge the offending meat? Did the movies lie to me?
posted by Atreides at 5:28 AM on February 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


Wow, is it ever obvious that most of you have no kids.

I, for one, don't want to risk bringing a child into a world where it might choke on a hotdog.
posted by 7segment at 5:30 AM on February 23, 2010 [7 favorites]


Dude, if they made a spherical hotdog that you had to eat like an apple, maybe with cheese or chili inside and a corndog crust, I would totally eat that.

I know I shouldn't, though, as I assume that's what the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge actually looked and tasted like.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:32 AM on February 23, 2010 [13 favorites]


The paramedic who taught my infant CPR class asked us what we thought the number one cause of accidental, fatal asphyxiation in young children was.

Marshmellows? Nope.

Hot dogs? Nope.

Grapes? Nope.

Latex party balloons. Kid squeezes it or pokes it with a pin, it pops, surprise causes a sudden intake of breath, and a shred of latex goes down the airway and forms an airtight seal that's difficult to dislodge and slippery to the touch.

So, yeah, buy mylar balloons for your next birthday party.

We give our infant all kinds of things that are horrendous choking hazards I'm sure, because we want her to learn how to feed herself and explore different foods. She loves it. I watch her like a hawk when she eats. She gags all the time but recovers quickly. Haven't had to dislodge anything yet.
posted by xthlc at 5:41 AM on February 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Choking risk aside, this thread made me ridiculously happy with the descriptions of hot dog octopi above. Never again will boring, tubular hot dogs be served in this house -- it's going to be hot dog calamari all the way.
posted by Forktine at 5:53 AM on February 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


I never once fed my daughter hot dogs-- not because I was afraid she would choke, but because I hate hot dogs. As a kid I hated: hot dogs, cheese, soda, potato chips, and ice cream. I still hate soda and hot dogs, but unfortunately I learned to love ice cream, cheese and potato chips. The idea that at one time in my life I refused to eat grilled cheese sandwiches makes me marvel.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:02 AM on February 23, 2010


Redesign children so that they eat like humans beings.
posted by Splunge at 6:21 AM on February 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


If there's a lesson to be learned from this it's that every single one of us commenting here are damned lucky to be alive considering the staggering number of things in our lives that want to kill us.
posted by tommasz at 6:29 AM on February 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Even if children eat like human beings, their airways are still tiny.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:30 AM on February 23, 2010


They warned us about hot dogs in infant safety class. But a redesign? I don't give my baby a whole apple to eat or a full cheese wheel to gnaw on. I cut it up first, the same way I'd cut up a hot dog. Not into rounds, but into actual baby/toddler sized pieces. To my fellow parents, I'd say "Get with the program."
posted by Never teh Bride at 6:46 AM on February 23, 2010


(A soy hot dog, that is. And why my baby should eat that is beyond me.)
posted by Never teh Bride at 6:48 AM on February 23, 2010


Wot no russian hairy sausages?

I imagine it's safer, too. Just tug on one of the tentacles at the first sign of choking.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:52 AM on February 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know, you could always try not feeding your kids ground up pig anuses.

I'm married to a vegetarian and despite being an unrepentant carnivore I can bond with her over vegetarian hotdogs because one indistinct tasting, pinky-brown tube of mush is much the same as another and the soya probably wasn't swept up off an abattoir floor.

And butterflying is the only way to roll.
posted by ninebelow at 7:07 AM on February 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think if I saw someone in a public park grilling redesigned "kid safe" hot dogs next to one of the over-padded monstrosities that passes for a "play ground" these days, I would fly into a terrifying, "kids-these-days"-fueled rage.

This sort of sentiment completely baffles me. We've got longer lifespans and better health these days in part because we've taken steps to remove a lot of senseless risks from childhood; we make the world a safer place and it becomes a better world.

This idiot machismo is dumb enough when it causes people to endanger themselves, but when people are actively decrying efforts to make other people safer, I just have to wonder what's going on inside their heads.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:10 AM on February 23, 2010 [7 favorites]


whatever. i want my edible hot dog straws now.
posted by eustatic at 7:22 AM on February 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is why I only feed my children lentils and arugula, pureed to a fine mist for inhaling.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:27 AM on February 23, 2010


Good parents who love their children put hot dogs in a blender with a little mustard and make a delicious hot dog slurry.
posted by Nelson at 7:43 AM on February 23, 2010


You know, you could always try not feeding your kids ground up pig anuses.

I'm reasonably confident that Hebrew National or Mogen David (can you still get those?) dogs don't expose one to anus.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:05 AM on February 23, 2010


Sorry, but a push for a voluntary redesign that alters the shape of the dog, and saves lives, doesn't exactly sound like zOMG NANNY STATE to me.
posted by condour75 at 8:28 AM on February 23, 2010


You know, you could always try not feeding your kids ground up pig anuses.

There are plenty of high quality, organic, locally produced, delicious, anus free food products that fit the phallus-like configuration of the standard hot dog. All of these products are going to be potential choking hazzards.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:30 AM on February 23, 2010


I'm reasonably confident that Hebrew National or Mogen David (can you still get those?) dogs don't expose one to anus.

You know what sausage casings are, right?
posted by stet at 8:41 AM on February 23, 2010


Man, I got no problem eating the ground up nasties from a pig; if it exists in nature and it tastes halfway-decent, I am happy to eat it, no matter what part of the animal it comes from. Our population's way too big to get all fussy and picky just because a cut of food comes from the general area of a porcine poopmaker.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:45 AM on February 23, 2010 [5 favorites]


This sort of sentiment completely baffles me. We've got longer lifespans and better health these days in part because we've taken steps to remove a lot of senseless risks from childhood; we make the world a safer place and it becomes a better world.

This idiot machismo is dumb enough when it causes people to endanger themselves, but when people are actively decrying efforts to make other people safer, I just have to wonder what's going on inside their heads.


Gee, thanks for the kind words, PG. I don't think it's "idiot machismo" to think that overprotecting kids out of fear of rare threats deprives children of the bangs and skinned knees that are part of growing up. Kids learn through play. One of the things they learn about is how to deal with pain and how to handle themselves physically in the world.

Also, I believe we have longer lifespans and better health because we've taken steps to remove a lot of senseless risks like diseases and child labor. I don't think covering playgrounds with foam has had too much of an impact, but I could be wrong. Serious playground injuries just seem way too rare to affect the average lifespan.
posted by brundlefly at 8:45 AM on February 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sausage casings provide a delicious crunch. The fact that they are intestines doesn't matter after that fact. And did you know that plants come from dirt that's often mixed with animal shit? Isn't that gross?

Besides, intestines can be good eats. I've had them at a Chinese restaurant. Chewy, vinegary, and briney. Definitely appeals to something primal, in the same way that potato chips and bacon do.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:03 AM on February 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Go choke on a wiener and die" is the new "Kids get off my lawn."
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:05 AM on February 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


If there's a lesson to be learned from this it's that every single one of us commenting here are damned lucky to be alive considering the staggering number of things in our lives that want to kill us intelligent design is bullshit. Who designs a system with one tube for solid fuel refilling and air intake?
posted by The Bellman at 9:22 AM on February 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


You know what sausage casings are, right?

I'm pretty sure Hebrew Nationals are skinless in any case, but sausage casings:

(1) Are often collagen/gelatin, not intestine.
(2) BATS AREN'T BUGS. And intestines aren't anus.
(3) If a kosher dog uses a natural casing, I would bet you a very large thing indeed that it doesn't come from an oinker.

Not that there's anything actually wrong with ground up pig anus, necessarily. Just that it can be avoided in hot dogs relatively easily.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:29 AM on February 23, 2010


I think it's funny that we still call them "hot dogs." I mean, d'you know why they're called that? A couple theories: 1. At one time, frankfurters were suspected to contain dog meat (hence traditional threats of sending the family dog to a sausage factory); 2. Possibly related to hot (slang) sexually aroused; lustful—it looks like a horny dog's boner, y'all!
posted by Sys Rq at 9:37 AM on February 23, 2010


Who designs a system with one tube for solid fuel refilling and air intake?

Yet, two for solid and liquid waste!
posted by Pollomacho at 9:39 AM on February 23, 2010


My SO got all into sausage making for a while so I learned a little by osmosis: the processed hot dogs one buys at the supermarket are cased in cellulose tubing which is removed at the factory before packaging. If you happen to have a non-kosher deli nearby that makes their own natural skin hot dogs, they are likely using sheeps intestine (pig intestines are way too big for hot dogs, save them for the chorizo). Kosher delis would use collagen casings.
posted by jamaro at 9:43 AM on February 23, 2010


I think it's funny that we still call them "hot dogs." I mean, d'you know why they're called that? A couple theories...

Straight Dope
posted by Pollomacho at 9:44 AM on February 23, 2010


(Also, my pig anus line wasn't about the pig anuses per se; I just meant to point out that, in addition to the options "Let kids play in traffic" and "Make streets safer for kids to play in," there is a third way: "Dude, maybe you could just, like, not do that?")
posted by Sys Rq at 9:46 AM on February 23, 2010


Also, my pig anus line wasn't about the pig anuses per se

At first I interpreted this as saying that you have a line of designer pig anuses that you sell. I was very confused.
posted by brundlefly at 10:00 AM on February 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


6. Repeat from step 2.

Congratulations, you are now an eating hero!
posted by Evilspork at 10:17 AM on February 23, 2010


From tellurian's link:

50 years of hotdog flavoured broth has to do strange things to your palate and drive you towards experimenting with hotdogs in an obscene and deep-fried manner.

love it.
posted by vortex genie 2 at 12:35 PM on February 23, 2010


I don't give my baby a whole apple to eat or a full cheese wheel to gnaw on.

I give my baby whole apples. She loves gnawing on them. It's pretty hilarious actually, and she'll eat a fair amount of it. As long as they're organic, I don't see why she can't eat the skin.

As an informed parent, I am fully aware of the dangers of hot dogs. Let's also not forget colon cancer. They should redesign hot dogs to get rid of that nasty side effect.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:38 PM on February 23, 2010


Let's also not forget colon cancer.

[Leno joke re: "doing it wrong" pending]
posted by Sys Rq at 12:57 PM on February 23, 2010


Seems some are drifting away from the issue of redesigning the humble dog to be safer for kids. I see why they propose this redesign (and as a devoted aunt, though not parent, I am not anxious for any kids to choke), but I think warning labels and parental knife skills are more the answer I would go for, before we start messing with the classic design. Personally I love the hot dog octopi, butterflied dogs, and other creative parent and grandparent ways of modifying dogs for little kids.

I also don't get the sausage negativity and pig anus stuff. I'm a meat eater, and of German heritage to boot (we do love our sausages). However all things in moderation is my credo. I don't know too many responsible parents constantly feeding their kids hot dogs, and the occasional dog properly cut up for little kids does not seem like the end of civilization as we know it.

Seems to me that ethical meat eating requires not wasting bits of the animals you are killing for food. Sausages encased in intestine are a way of utilizing/not wasting the scrap and ugly (but tasty and nutritious) bits of your food animals. Dried sausages were also a dandy way to preserve food pre-refrigeration as well.

(Finally, I can't help pointing out that intestines can be pretty.)
posted by gudrun at 1:04 PM on February 23, 2010


Ze Germans figured this one out already - currywurst cutter.

Sorry, no win there.

That appliance cuts the hot dog into regular sized discs, still a dangerous shape to potentially block small airways.

At minimum, you'd have to cut those rings into halves to make them 'safe'.

Any panicky parent worth their salt knows to dice the hot dog up into .5-1.0 cm cubes.

Yup, I'm no fun.
posted by mazola at 1:19 PM on February 23, 2010


In Britain they play safe at the Wimpy Bar and partially slice the hot dog before serving it in a hamburger. The Bender, as noted in this blogpost is also served on crockery with cutlery.
posted by tellurian at 3:15 PM on February 23, 2010


MYSTERY MEAT IS MURDER!
posted by mazola at 3:27 PM on February 23, 2010


MYSTERY MEAT IS A MURDER MYSTERY!
posted by Solon and Thanks at 5:14 PM on February 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


HOW MANY CHILDREN HAVE TO DIE BEFORE YOU STOP EATING PIG NOSTRILS?!?!?!
posted by blue_beetle at 8:41 AM on February 24, 2010


Pig nostrils are THE EXACT SIZE to get stuck in human nostrils, impeding breathing, which can lead to DEATH. Fortunately, there's usually a hole in the center of each pig nostril, so even those people with pig nostrils lodged permanently inside their own nostrils can generally lead a full and satisfying life.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:37 AM on February 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


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