But is the Danger Dog really LA's own cuisine? How did the Danger Dog come to exist? To find out, we're going to take a trip back through hot dog history.
There has always been something suspect about hot dogs. Before the creation of the USDA and modern inspections of businesses that handle meat, sausages were the destination for the most repulsive and otherwise unmarketable bits of meat -- arguably, for many years, all hot dogs were danger dogs. Upton Sinclair's most famous book, “The Jungle” (1906), described pretty much the worst case scenario for making hot dogs, which was all too common a century ago:
“There would be meat stored in great piles in rooms; and the water -- from leaky roofs would drip over it, and thousands of rats would race about on it. It was too dark in these storage places to see well, but a man could run his hand over these piles of meat and sweep off handfuls of the dried dung of rats. These rats were nuisances, and the packers would put poisoned bread out for them; they would die, and then rats, bread, and meat would go into the hoppers together. This is no fairy story and no joke; the meat would be shoveled into carts, and the man who did the shoveling would not trouble to lift out a rat even when he saw one -- there were things that went into the sausage in comparison with which a poisoned rat was a tidbit."