Americans expected to consume 7 billion hot dogs this summer

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The Fourth of July weekend usually means summer grilling is in full effect with many Americans celebrating the holiday by serving up a backyard barbecue staple: hot dogs.

Americans will eat seven billion hot dogs this summer between Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.

That’s 818 hot dogs per second and more than a third of the hot dogs eaten per year.

“There’s nothing better than a hot dog and a cold drink on a warm summer day, said Eric Mittenthal, president of the council. “It’s an American tradition that goes back generations and remains a great way to bring family and friends together.”

Despite hot dogs’ popularity, many Americans still report that the ingredients are a mystery to them, the council said.

New research commissioned by the national council and conducted online by Harris Poll finds that 72 percent of Americans say that the true ingredients of a hot dog are a mystery to them, even though the ingredients are listed on the package.

Americans also tend to overestimate the calories in a standard hot dog without the bun, the survey revealed. Americans estimate that a standard hot dog contains 210 calories, while 41 percent of Americans say they do not know. While calories vary by brand, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates the average standard beef hot dog contains 154 calories.

The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council has developed several resources to help address these misperceptions.

A recently released guide to hot dog ingredients allows people to search for the ingredients listed on a hot dog package and learn more about what those ingredients are and why they are used. A new hot dog and sausage nutrition guide will debut this summer.

video showing the full process of how hot dogs are made is also available.

“People want to know more about what’s in their food and its nutrition benefits and we’re excited to make that information available,” Mittenthal said. “They’ll find that much of the mystery surrounding hot dogs is actually mythology.”

More resources on hot dog history, culture and consumption are available at www.hot-dog.org and on the NHDSC Facebook page.