Defining a Hot Dog

When is a hot dog, a hot dog? When the law says so!

When hot-dog cart owners are being threatened by closure by health inspectors, the Assembly Health Committee in California came up with the legal definition of a hot dog to help them out:

The proposed change to state health laws spells it out: "'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." [...]

The definition is needed so health departments can hold hot-dog vendors, who boil already cooked wieners, to a less-stringent sanitation standard than food stands that cook raw foods, such as bratwurst, said Justin Malan of the California Assn. of Environmental Health Administrators.

Marc Lifsher of the Los Angeles Times explains: Link

Well, at least they didn't define watermelon as a vegetable or declare pi as 3.


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