February 22, 2010
Oh, for fuck's sake, can't we even fucking enjoy hot dogs any more? In case you've had your head up your ass for fuck knows how long, giving your toddler a hot dog that hasn't been cut into tiny pieces may pose a choking hazard. As such, it is imperative that the government step in and tell us that we should redesign the "shape" of hot dogs so that kids don't choke on them, or at least affix grapes, hot dogs, peanuts, and who knows what else with warning labels.
"Any food that has a cylindrical or round shape poses a risk," he pointed out. Smith said that hot dogs were high on the list of foods that could be redesigned -- perhaps the shape, although he said it would be up to the manufacturers to figure out the specifics.
Hard candies, on the other hand, could be designed so they're flat rather than round, said Smith, who is also director of the Center for Injury Research & Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
The AAP policy statement appears in the March issue of Pediatrics and is the first such guidance on the subject from that group.
The policy statement called for the government to establish a "mandatory system . . . to label foods with appropriate warnings according to their choking risk, to conduct detailed surveillance and investigate food-related choking incidents, and to warn the public about emerging food-related choking hazards."
Manufacturers' responsibility would be to affix "choking hazard" labels to high-risk products and to consider shapes, sizes and textures when designing products.
"I think there should be a commitment from the entire industry to label not only hot dogs but all high-risk foods with some type of informational label that allows consumers to make informed decisions," Smith said, adding that he thought companies would figure out that "safety sells."
My daughter likes hot dogs. Without any government intervention, my husband and I had the completely unoriginal thought to cut them into small pieces that are easy for her to chew and swallow. It's a fucking miracle that she's still alive, isn't it?
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