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Lawyer Whose Son Choked to Death on Hot Dog Fights for Warning Labels

Posted Feb 25, 2010 6:59 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A New Jersey lawyer whose 4-year-old son choked to death on a hot dog nine years ago has pushed for better labels on foods that pose choking hazards.

Now Oscar Mayer and some other food makers have added warning labels, but more needs to be done, according to the crusading Warren, N.J., lawyer, Joan Stavros Adler. She is supporting the American Academy of Pediatrics in its new quest for warning labels and changes in the shapes and sizes of some foods to minimize choking hazards, the Associated Press reports.

The academy also wants the Food and Drug Administration to coordinate with other government agencies for reporting and recall systems for food choking incidents.

Hot dogs are "almost as American as apple pie," Adler told AP. "You really don't know how horrible it can be."

Besides hot dogs, foods that pose a risk of choking in young children include carrots, grapes, apples, hard candies, popcorn, peanuts and marshmallows, according to the story. Some of these foods can be cut into small pieces for young children, and others should be avoided entirely, some doctors say.

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