Busted! Your Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog is Illegal in LA
Added to my lengthy list of misguided and overbearing governance. They really put the bite to us consumers on this one. I’d trust a grilled meat over boiled anytime. Boiled? What an awful thing to do to a tasty meat.
Ordinarily under our laws, we are allowed to do all those things that are not prohibited. One salient feature of the less wise regulations we face particularly as innovative business people are when we can only do those things that are specifically allowed under the law. Like in this case only boiling or steaming is allowed. The goal here of course is safe food. But that law seems to assume that grilling is not a safe way to cook meat. This of course we know to be false. They wrote a law about the common technology of the time and effectively gave that method a permanent exclusive. They made no provision for any other method like grilling or baking. Probably because those ways were not used on the carts of the day. But now they are. Food cart operators have innovated to make a better Hot Dog and an old law stands in the way. Will the city respond with a law that calls for a minimum temperature like they do for chicken? Might they add grilling to the permitted cooking methods? Stay tuned us foodies need to know these things.
The bacon wrapped hot dog is a staple of Los Angeles street food and everyone from daytime shoppers to late-night revelers seems to enjoy these so-called “heart attack dogs.” The traditional way of serving these dogs in L.A. is to top them with onions, mayo, mustard, onions, green peppers, ketchup and a grilled green poblano chile.Legal In Nevada and Amsterdam, illegal in Los Angeles. Go figure.
There’s only one problem with these bacon wrapped hot dog’s that everyone loves: they’re illegal. In Los Angeles, the law says that hot dogs sold by street vendors must be either steamed or boiled. For the bacon-wrapped hot dog to cook properly and taste delicious, it needs to be grilled. But grilling a hot dog is a violation of the L.A. health code for street vendors. Sadly, this is not a law that goes unenforced. There have been a number of different reports of food vendors being raided by cops.