Calif. Legally Defines 'Hot Dog'
To distinguish them from not-yet-cooked sausages
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2013 9:54 AM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – What is a hot dog, really? You may not know—which is probably a good thing—but in California, at least, the encased meat may soon have a legal definition, the Los Angeles Times reports:

  • "'Hot dog' means a whole, cured, cooked sausage that is skinless or stuffed in a casing that may be known as a frankfurter, frank, furter, wiener, red hot, Vienna, bologna, garlic bologna, or knockwurst and that may be served in a bun or roll."

Why did the Assembly Health Committee go to the trouble of defining the term? For the sake of hot dog vendors. Since they're hawking already-cooked meat (all they have to do is boil the dogs), they want to be held to less-strict sanitation standards than vendors who actually cook raw meat like bratwurst. The committee proposed the above change to state health law, and the bill passed the Assembly unanimously and is now in the state Senate.

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Showing 3 of 31 comments
Scott603
Jun 19, 2013 12:41 AM CDT
So all the uncured hot dogs are Trader Joes and Whole Foods don't count as hot dogs because they aren't filled with tons of Sodium Nitrate? But the Bar-Z hot dogs at Walmart do count?
AEK
Jun 18, 2013 2:04 PM CDT
The only surprising thing about this is that Mayor Bloomberg didn't think of it first.
JustinSage
Jun 18, 2013 1:39 PM CDT
Ah, California. Even New Jersey laughs at you.