This website is no longer actively maintained
Some material and features may be unavailable

Frank talk

Hot dogs are the leading culprit in children’s choking. In this First Look video, food designer Eugene D. Gagliardi Jr. speaks to Need to Know about his latest invention, which aims to make this popular food safer for kids. A longer version of this story will appear on the website later this summer.



  • Steven Deedon

    How about making hot dogs safer for animals? Make them out of seitan (or just send hot dogs off into history), and teaching kids (implicitly) that it good to kill animals because it’s fun to eat them.

  • Marce Wise

    Where can we buy these? I have a 2-year-old granddaughter that loves hot dogs, but we watch her like a hawk when she’s eating one because of the potention choking hazard. If you know, please respond in this thread.

  • Steve

    Sorry, but few are gonna go through the trouble of running a dog through this thing before serving — especially at a restaurant. I would just tell parents: “Use a little common sense.” If serving hot dogs to little kids, cut them lengthwise as well as in pieces. You don’t need a funky doodad. I’d rather learn more about how hot dogs are a premier health hazard to children than what amounts to an infomercial — “the amazing hotdog safer-izer!” In fact, what I “need to know” is not that this doo-dad exists, but that hot dogs pose such a problem. Let’s hope the TV version gets its priorities right. This is local television fare. Also, does anyone really give a darn whether reports like this show up before the Friday newscast, during, or after? News is news.

  • Alexandra Nikolchev, Researcher

    Thank you all for your comments. Marce, Mr. Gagliardi’s “kinder cut” is being introduced to grocery stores by Rastelli Foods of Swedesboro, NJ. A call to them should point you to where to purchase one in your area. And Steve, I hope you tune in to the broadcast to get a more in depth look at choking hazards for your children.

  • Roy S.

    So the hot dog won’t clog your kid’s windpipe and choke them to death – it’ll only harden and clog their arteries and choke their heart to death. So what invention is this “food designer” in the smart-looking white lab coat going to come up with that makes hot dogs a safe DIETARY choice instead of salty, chemical-filled fat bombs with zero nutritional value?

  • zmjjmz

    So, American kids are more threatened by hot dogs than by terrorism?
    I say we wage war on hot dogs.

  • Marcia Cross, grandmother

    This is a wonderful invention. My almost 2 year old loves hot dogs, especially the new Angus ones. To tell you the truth, we older people have trouble swallowing too, especially those of us who have had strokes. I want this for myself as well! Also the cuts would be good for getting the mustard and chili in! Thank you so much for posting this! Where can I get them? This needs to be marketed to older people as well!

  • Suenan1

    Really??? What about banana chunks? Orange segments? Grapes? Parents, watch your kids! The government or quasi-qov’t agencies only format insane laws/regs when they think we need a nanny state taking care of common sense. Can anyone say, “hot coffee” or “motorcycle helmets”???