If you’re a vegetarian, FoodFacts.com knows that you’ve got a tremendous variety of food choices available to you that “replace” a meat product. There’s vegetarian sausage, vegetarian bacon, veggie burgers, veggie pepperoni for pizza and, of course, vegetarian hot dogs. Most folks we know have a favorite brand for a variety of reasons that probably include ingredient lists. A new study is pointing to the idea that if you’re a fan of vegetarian hot dogs, you may have more to think about than what’s printed on the ingredient list of the brand to which you’re loyal.
A new study is indicating that there’s a possibility that the vegetarian hot dog you’re purchasing actually isn’t vegetarian at all. In fact, there’s a 10 percent chance that the veggie hot dog you’re eating isn’t really a veggie hot dog – it contains meat.
Perhaps worse, the company found hygiene issues in four of its 21 vegetarian samples. It also found human DNA in 2% of its hot dog samples — and two-thirds of the vegetarian samples.
Overall, 14.4% of the hot dogs and sausages tested by Clear Foods “were problematic,” the company said.
Clear Foods is a company that “translates quantifiable molecular tests into actionable food data insights,” according to its website. In English, that means it uses genetic sequencing to figure out just what’s in your lunch.
Its results on hot dogs aren’t always comforting. Overall, the company found nutritional label inaccuracies, pork substitution and some unexpected ingredients, including chicken and lamb.
On the other hand, Clear gave high marks to a variety of manufacturers, both national and regional. Butterball, McCormick, Eckrich and Hebrew National led among national brands, each with a score of 96 out of 100, based on Clear’s formula.
This information is particularly disturbing. Vegetarians need to be able to trust the brands they rely on to keep meat out of their products. In addition, FoodFacts.com wants to note the hygiene issues suggested by the finding of human DNA in a variety of different hot dog brands, as well as the presence of pork where no pork was supposed to be used, as well as a few other unpleasant items of note, truly create an incredible violation of trust between hot dog consumers and food manufacturers.
14.4% of the hot dogs samples in Clear Food’s study had some sort of a problem: vegetarian hot dogs containing meat; nutritional label inaccuracies; hygienic issues; ingredient substitutions and more. Read the results of the study here at http://www.clearfood.com/food_reports/2015/the_hotdog_report for the full details and the brands included in the analysis.