Test finds human DNA in hot dogs, meat in vegetarian products
Clear Food, a company that genetically tests food products, analyzed 345 hot dogs and sausages from 75 different brands, and found that 14 percent had hygienic issues or had ingredients that were not displayed on the product label.
Two percent of the samples tested positive for human DNA, and a whopping 66 percent of vegetarian hot dogs contained evidence of such contamination.
“One thing's certain: questions about the hot dog are as old as the hot dog itself. And they're not wholly unwarranted,” the report said.
Other shocking findings involved vegetarian meat substitute products. Ten percent of vegetarian hot dogs and sausages were found to contain meat. Evidence of chicken was found in 10 samples, beef in four samples, turkey in three samples, and lamb in two samples that were supposed to be meat-free.
Pork is a particular concern as an unlabeled substituted ingredient, due to dietary prohibitions in Islam and Judaism. Pork substitution was reported to be an issue in products across the price spectrum being sold at a wide variety of retailers. Clear Food found pork substitution in 3 percent of the samples that were tested. In most cases, pork found its way into chicken and turkey sausages.
Clear Food is a company that "translates quantifiable molecular tests into actionable food data insights," according to its website. That just means it uses genetic sequencing to figure out just what's in your lunch.
The company noted that while the issues they were raised are not necessarily violations of FDA rules, they are providing a service to help people make decisions based on their own preferences, not that of a government regulator.
“While some of these substitutions, hygienic issues, other variances, or off-label ingredients may be permitted by the FDA, our scientific disclosure allows you, as the consumer, to decide whether the variance or problems meet your personal standard in your buying decision,” Clear Food said.