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AMI's Annual Hot Dog Lunch Brings Together American Icons

Wednesday, July 23, 2008
 

Washington D.C.— Two American icons – hot dogs and baseball – will vie for top billing today at the American Meat Institute’s (AMI) annual Hot Dog Lunch on Capitol Hill.  More than 1,000 Capitol Hill staff, lawmakers and federal agency officials are expected to attend the event, held in the courtyard of the Rayburn House Office Building. 

 “The Hot Dog Lunch is one of the most popular annual events on Capitol Hill, a testament to America’s long-standing love affair with this American icon,” said AMI President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle.   “We look forward every year to celebrating this proud tradition in the nation’s capital.”  

 The crowd is expected to consume more than 4,000 hot dogs. If laid end to end, that quantity of wieners would be enough to go up and down the Wheaton Metro station escalator, the longest escalator in the Western Hemisphere, more than seven times; would be three times taller than the Washington Monument; and would be enough to stretch from tee to green on the 579-yard 16th hole at Congressional’s Blue Course.  The 4,000 hot dogs consumed today will help contribute to the more than 20 billion hot dogs that Americans are expected to consume this year.

 The Annual Hot Dog Lunch will feature 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. Copious amounts of mustard, relish, ketchup, onions, chili and other treats will be available to personalize each hot dog.   

 Poll Shows Ketchup Violations Spill Over On Both Sides of Aisle

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.  But a new national Harris poll of Americans revealed that substantial portions of both parties use ketchup, though Democrats break this cardinal rule more often than Republicans.

 “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 Council is encouraged that John McCain is running on a pro-mustard platform.  McCain recently made a campaign stop at a Pronto Pup shack in Grand Haven, Michigan, where he enjoyed a Pronto Pup … dressed with mustard. 

 Calls to the Obama campaign seeking an official position were not returned.  “But we will presume by silence that he agrees with the no ketchup after 18 rule. After all – he’s from Chicago where ketchup on a hot dog is about as welcome as a thin crust pizza,” Riley said.

 Baseball Greats Highlight Hot Dog-Baseball ‘Hand in Glove’ Relationship

Three baseball All-Stars will also be on hand signing autographs and eating a few franks:

 Russell “Bucky” Dent earned two World Series rings as the starting shortstop for the New York Yankees in 1977 and 1978, and was voted the World Series MVP in 1978.  Dent’s place in the annals of baseball has been secured by 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.    He currently runs a baseball school in Florida (Bucky Dent's Baseball School) that teaches young children baseball fundamentals.

 Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter is a former right-handed relief pitcher who was arguably the first pitcher to make effective use of the split-finger fastball, which he called "The Jewel." One of the sport's dominant relievers in the late 1970s and early 1980s, he became the only pitcher to lead the National League in saves five times (1979-1982, 1984), and retired with 300 saves.  He is the first pitcher who never started a game to be elected to the Hall of Fame. 

 Oscar Gamble is a former outfielder and designated hitter who played for 17 seasons, from 1969 to 1985, on seven different teams.  A deadly left-handed pull-hitter against right-handed pitching, Oscar's career peaked in 1977 with the White Sox, when he hit 31 home runs and tallied 83 RBI.

 The annual Hot Dog Lunch is organized by the American Meat Institute and sponsored by 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.

 For more information on hot dogs, visit the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council’s Web site at http://www.hot-dog.org/.  For an entertaining video on hot dog etiquette, visit www.youtube.com/hotdogcouncil

AMI represents the interests of packers and processors of beef, pork, lamb, veal and turkey products and their suppliers throughout North America.  Together, AMI's members produce 95 percent of the beef, pork, lamb and veal products and 70 percent of the turkey products in the U.S.  Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute provides legislative, regulatory, public relations, technical, scientific and educational services to the industry. 

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