When a child in the United States chokes, the culprit could very well be a hot dog. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researcher Susan P. Baker first determined that this backyard barbecue favorite poses a greater choking threat to babies and toddlers than grapes, nuts and hard candy. The reason: Because of its size, shape, and consistency, a piece of hot dog makes the perfect plug for a toddler’s throat.
In 2010, pediatricians called for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to consider warning labels on foods such as hot dogs that pose a choking hazard. Doctors have also suggested that manufacturers modify their recipes so hot dogs easily fall apart into small pieces when a child takes a bite.