One in 50 hotdogs contain human DNA while even more contain suspicious ‘mystery meat’
Scientists say ‘ingredient anxiety is not wholly unwarranted’ when it comes to the tasty but terrifying contents of sausages – even vegetarian options.
A shocking one in every 50 hotdogs contains human DNA, according to a new study.
A firm which analysed the content of frankfurters produced by major US brands said 2% of the hotdogs tested had traces of human DNA.
Their research also said 14% contained meats or products not listed in the ingredients.
The DNA could have found its way into the hotdogs in the form of saliva or other bodily fluids as they get mashed and processed on the production line.
It was also found in two thirds of vegetarian samples.
Food testing company Clear Food analysed 345 hot dogs and sausages from 75 different brands sold at 10 retailers using “genomic technology” to examine foods by their ingredients.
It found that meat substitution was commonplace, with pork added in 3% of samples including sausages sold as chicken or turkey.
It said 10% of all vegetarian products appeared to contain meat.
The report said: “Sausages are the world’s original ‘mystery meat’ and hot dogs have always provoked ingredient anxiety.
“In mid-19th-century America rumors circulated that some butchers made inexpensive, frankfurter-style sausages with ground dog meat.
Though no one knows for sure, this might explain how the hotdog got its name.
“One thing’s certain, questions about the hotdog are as old as the hotdog itself. And they’re not wholly unwarranted.”
Overall 14.4% of hotdogs in the research contained “problematic ingredients”.
Hotdogs are usually processed in factories where meat trimmings, spices, and other ingredients are chopped and blended into an emulsification and routed to automatic stuffers.
The stuffers pump the emulsified hot dog mixture into casings before they are cooked in a smokehouse, cooled by being passed under a water shower and packaged.
If animal parts such as livers, kidneys and hearts are among the ingredients the label should state “with variety meats” and the particular ingredient should be listed on the package.