Chicago Issues First $250 Fine to Hot Dog Seller for Foie Gras

The city issued its first foie gras fine to a hot dog seller of all people, accusing "Hot Doug's" of violating a Chicago ban by lacing its specialty dogs with the duck liver delicacy.

Doug Sohn, who runs Hot Doug's "The Sausage Superstore and Encased Meat Emporium," agreed to pay $250 Thursday for the first-time offense.

Sohn had been openly serving foie gras-laced hot dogs since the ordinance took effect in August. He says he knew about the rule — when he got a warning letter from the city, he had it framed and placed on his counter.

He could have faced up to a $500 dollar fine under the ordinance, Health Department spokesman Tim Hadac said.

Animal rights activists oppose serving foie gras, saying it is inhumane the way geese and ducks are force-fed through a pipe to plump up their livers. They have been pressing other cities, states and chefs for similar bans. Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck announced earlier this month that his restaurants would stop serving foie gras.

The Chicago City Council had approved the ordinance despite Mayor Richard M. Daley's objections. He called it the "silliest" ordinance they had ever passed.