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Should Ketchup Be On Hot Dogs?

One of the few foods that are considered quintessentially American is the hot dog. While it is difficult to pinpoint who actually invented this popular snack, experts say that it originated from Europe. But did you know there is a National Hot Dog and Sausage Council?

The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council is located in Washington, DC. The organization serves as an information resource to consumers. Being the experts on the subject, the NHDSC says that as an adult is unacceptable to use ketchup on your hotdog.

What Does the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council Do?

The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council is an American trade association that promotes the hot dog industry in the United States. The organization was founded in 1994 by the American Meat Institute. Their headquarters is currently based in Washing DC and is headed by Eric Mittenthal.

The association serves as the expert in anything hot dog and sausage-related. They provide consumers with resource information on the quality, safety, nutrition, and preparation of hot dogs and sausages. The group also celebrates hot dogs and sausages as iconic American food. (Source: The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council)

How Much Hotdogs Does An Average American Consume?

According to the statistics gathered by the NHDSC, Americans spend more than $7 Billion on hot dogs and sausages. Residents of Los Angeles, California, consume more hot dogs than any other city.

On the 4th of July, 150 million hot dogs were sold. This is enough to stretch from DC to LA more than five times over. Hot dog peak seasons are Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Independence Day. According to data gathered for 2020, 994 million pounds of hot dogs were sold in retail stores. (Source: The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council)

NHDSC’s Hot Dog Etiqutte

The NHDSC released a satirical guide for hot dog etiquette in 2008. You can watch the video here. But here’s a summary of what the video contains. The guide focuses on the dos and don’ts for enjoying one of America’s most sacred food. (Source: The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council)


Serve your hot dogs on buns with sesame seed, poppy seed, or plain hot dog buns. Fancy buns with herbs are considered gauche with the American frank.

Eat hotdog buns with your hands. Utensils should not touch hot dogs on buns at all.

Use everyday dishes. No fancy china is needed.

Condiments on fingers should be licked and not washed

Cocktail weiners are best enjoyed on multi-colored toothpicks rather than cocktail forks.

(Source: The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council)


Putting toppings between the hotdog and the bun is unacceptable. Always dress the dog. That being said, there is a proper order of how to place the said toppings. Start with the wet condiments like mustard and chill first. Then add the chunky condiments like sauerkraut, onions, and relish. Finally, finish off with shredded cheese or spices.

Using a napkin to wipe your face after eating a hot dog is frowned upon. Paper is preferred.

Eating a regular hot dog in more than five bites is highly discouraged. You may only do so for foot-long wieners.

Leaving bits of the bun is not an option. You must consume every piece.

Using ketchup after the age of 18 is just immature. The only acceptable toppings are; mustard, relish, onions, cheese, and chili.

Wine and other fancy beverages do not match with hot dogs. Beer, soda, lemonade, or iced tea is preferred.

(Source: The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council)

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