Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid … of Hot Dogs?

An interesting February report from the American Academy of Pediatrics warns that certain foods, like the typical hot dog, pose a choking hazard to children. The key to this report was that it called for increased government regulation and the following:

Food manufacturers should design new foods and redesign existing foods to avoid shapes, sizes, textures, and other characteristics that increase choking risk to children, to the extent possible.

Hot-dog makers voiced their opposition to this. The American Meat Institute’s president stated the following:

In terms of a call for a redesign of hot dogs, these are an iconic food known for their distinctive shape.  However, I can say that as a mother, I redesign many foods – from hot dogs to grapes to carrot sticks – in my own kitchen when I serve them to toddlers. I simply use a knife and cut them into small, bite-sized pieces.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=hot+dogs&iid=767062″ src=”3/1/0/a/Congress_Digs_In_9720.jpg?adImageId=12903529&imageId=767062″ width=”285″ height=”198″ /]A parent taking a simple step to make food more digestible for their child — what a novel concept. Parents around the country know that certain foods are not safe for young children to eat without supervision or assistance. It’s what used to be called common sense — something our increasingly paternalistic government tends to think we lack.

The necessity of spending taxpayer money on safeguards against lack of adherence to common sense is dubious at best. Do we really need the federal government involved here?

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