Americans to Enjoy Seven Billion Hot Dogs This Summer

Strong Economy Could Result in Record Summer Consumption

May 26, 2000, 01:00 ET from National Hot Dog and Sausage Council

    WASHINGTON, May 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Americans are expected to eat at least
 seven billion hot dogs between Memorial Day and Labor Day, according to the
 National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, in Arlington, VA. That's enough for
 every man, woman and child in the world to enjoy a hot dog.
     The Council estimates that Americans eat 20 billion hot dogs each year,
 but more are eaten in the warm weather months when the grills are fired.
 During Fourth of July weekend -- the biggest hot dog holiday in the
 United States -- Americans are expected to enjoy 155 million hot dogs.  The
 Council anticipates this summer could see hot dog consumption records due to a
 continued strong economy.
     Although Americans are united in their love for hot dogs, they don't
 always agree what they like to put on their hot dogs.  Hot Dog Council
 research shows that a generational split exists among Americans: the
 overwhelming majority of American kids prefer ketchup on their hot dogs, while
 most adults say mustard is their favorite hot dog topping.
     Council polling also revealed a disturbing fact.  When asked what they
 would like on their hot dogs if their moms weren't watching, 25 percent of
 kids said they would prefer chocolate sauce.
     In addition to cookouts and picnics, Americans will also be enjoying hot
 dogs in record numbers at major league ballparks this summer.  A recent
 Council survey of major league ballpark concessions revealed that
 approximately 26.5 million hot dogs will be consumed at Major League
 Baseball games this season.
     Council data also shows that hot dogs rank among the top five meats that
 will land on the barbecue.  Other grilling favorites, according to the poll,
 are sausages, steaks, chicken and hamburgers.
     The Council offers several tips for a safe and delicious summer barbecue:
     *  Keep hot dogs and sausages cold, either in the refrigerator until
        ready to grill or in an ice cold cooler while away from home at
     *  Hot dogs are pre-cooked, but should be thoroughly reheated until
        steaming hot.  Be sure to separate hot dogs from other uncooked meats
        and poultry.
     *  Precooked sausages, like smoked bratwurst and knackwurst, need to be
        reheated until steaming, hot just like hot dogs.
     *  Fresh sausages, like fresh Italian and fresh bratwurst, need to be
        cooked slowly and evenly over mature coals until the sausage is grey
        throughout and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the sausage
        reads 160 degrees F. for meat sausage and 165 degrees F. for poultry
        sausage.  Fresh sausage also may be parboiled in water for 15 minutes
        and then grilled.  However, grilling should immediately follow
        parboiling; interrupted cooking is not recommended.
     *  Remember to place hot dogs and sausages on a clean plate after
     *  Wash hands thoroughly in hot soapy water after handling any of these
     *  Observe all expiration dates on precooked products.
     Consumers with questions about meat and poultry safety should call USDA's
 Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-800-535-4555.  For more information about hot
 dogs and sausages, visit the Council's Web Site
     The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council is a project of the American Meat
 Institute Foundation.  The Council offers recipes, photographs, cooking and
 storage tips, fun-filled facts and trivia and other general information about
 hot dogs and sausages and hosts the ever-popular site
 The Council also sponsors July's National Hot Dog Month and National Hot Dog
 Day, scheduled for July 19, 2000.

SOURCE National Hot Dog and Sausage Council