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Annual Hot Dog Lunch Hits Another Home Run on the Hill

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

(American Meat Institute)

Threatening rains in our nation’s capital today only served to whet the appetites of more than 1,000 attendees of the annual Hot Dog Lunch, sponsored by AMI. The event, which drew more than 50 members of Congress and United States Secretary of Agriculture Edward Schafer, also attracted Hill staffers, industry officials and 30 members of the media. It remains one of the most popular events of the summer on Capitol Hill.  

Hosted by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Committee Ranking Member Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), the event drew members of Congress from both sides of the aisle and reporters from Fox News, CNN, C-SPAN, , Dow Jones and Reuters, many whom lined-up with hot dogs in-hand to have baseballs autographed by some of their favorite baseball greats.

Attending the lunch were Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter; Russell “Bucky” Dent, who is most known for his three-run homer that gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead in the 1978 AL East division playoff game with their archrivals, the Red Sox in 1978; and  Oscar Gamble, a former outfielder and designated hitter.

During the lunch, the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council released the results of a new national Harris poll which revealed that substantial portions of both political parties use ketchup on their hot dogs, though Democrats break this cardinal rule more often than Republicans.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer is greeted by AMI President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle, left, and AMI Chairman Dave Miniat, president of Ed Miniat, Inc., right, at the annual Hot Dog Lunch Wednesday.

According to the rules of hot dog etiquette published by AMI’s National Hot Dog & Sausage Council and detailed in a new You Tube video (www.YouTube.com/hotdogcouncil) ketchup should never be used on a hot dog after the age of 18. 

“Our data show that significant percentages of both parties need to reform their ketchup on hot dogs habit,” Council President Janet Riley said.  “But our data clearly show that more Democrats than Republicans display a more ‘liberal interpretation’ of etiquette rules.  Republicans appear to hold truer to traditional topping values that reject ketchup after the age of 18.”

The Annual Hot Dog Lunch featured popular hot dog manufacturers, including Hormel Foods Corporation, Johnsonville Sausage, Ball Park, Oscar Mayer Foods, Smithfield Foods, Inc., Hatfield Quality Meats and Tyson Foods, Inc.

 Co-sponsors included the American Bakers Association, Tastykakes, George Weston Bakeries, Safeway, American Beverage Association, Diageo, Hormel Foods Corporation, International Bottled Water Association, Snack Food Association, HERR’S and Cracker Jacks.

Much of the leftover food not consumed during the lunch will be donated to DC Central Kitchen, a non-profit community kitchen that recycles over one ton of surplus food each day that would otherwise go to waste and turns it into 4,000 meals for the hungry in the greater Washington, DC region.


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