WASHINGTON – A new educational video outlining the proper method to prepare hot dogs for toddlers and small children has been released by the American meat Institute (A.M.I.) and the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council. The video is the second installment of A.M.I.'s weekly "Ask the Meat Scientist" series.

Betsy Booren, Ph.D., director of scientific affairs of the American Meat Institute Foundation, is featured in this video reminding parents and caregivers that all foods shaped like a circle should be sliced properly before serving. Any food shaped like a circle – from grapes to bananas to hot dogs – can pose a choking risk for young children.

All hot dogs should be sliced down the middle, diced crosswise into small pieces and heated before serving when serving these products to small children, Ms. Booren notes.

“The safety of the foods we serve to our customers, especially children, is of paramount importance to the meat industry,” said Janet Riley, president of the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, and A.M.I. senior vice president of public affairs. “That is why for more than a decade, we have echoed the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations that hot dogs should be cut into small pieces before serving to young children; that casings, if present, should be removed; and that parents should carefully supervise their young children’s eating at all times."

The two-minute video can be viewed at http://www.YouTube.com/MeatNewsNetwork.