Your Vegetarian Hot Dog May Contain Meat … and Human DNA

(Photo: Getty Images) 

Think you’re making the healthy choice by picking a vegetarian hot dog? Check the brand you’re buying: A new report found that 10 percent of the vegetarian hot dogs tested contained meat, including chicken in a vegetarian breakfast sausage and pork in a vegetarian hot dog. 

But that’s not all. Clear Food, a company that genetically tests food products, looked at 345 hot dog samples from 75 brands, including meat-based and meat-free dogs. Of those 345 hot dogs, 14.4 percent had some sort of issue, be it a labeling inaccuracy or hygiene problem. 

Some dogs were labeled pork-free — important for certain religions — but were found to contain pork after all. Others only listed one type of meat but included several, or didn’t contain all the ingredients listed. 

Even grosser: 2 percent of all samples were found to have traces of human DNA in them. Veggie dogs were the worst off, accounting for 67 percent of the hygiene issues, and two-thirds of the human DNA found.

The good news: As bad as some brands were found to be, there are some trustworthy options out there. The report lists the soy chorizo and meatless corn dogs at Trader Joe’s as a good picks for vegetarians, and Taveritte’s, Whole Foods’ 365 brand, Aidell’s, Hebrew National, Ball Park, Oscar Mayer, and Johnsonville for meat eaters. 

Find the full details, plus more recommendations for staying safe, at Clear Food.

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