Vegetarian hot dogs found to contain meat, human DNA in disturbing sausage study

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NEW YORK – So what’s really in a hot dog?

A group called Clear Food used DNA tests to find out just how the beloved American sausage is made, and, especially for vegetarians, some of the results are quite alarming.

After testing 345 different hot dogs and sausage brands, the group found that not only did 10 percent of the vegetarian products contain meat, but that human DNA was found in 2 percent of all samples.

In 14.4 percent of products there were “unexpected ingredients” not listed on the labels.  That includes meat in vegetarian dogs, or the wrong type of animal in meat sausages.

Pork, for instance, was found in 3 percent of the non-pork products such as chicken and turkey dogs.

So if you want to eat hot dogs made as advertised, here are the top 10 brands, according to Clear Food:

  1. Butterball
  2. McCormick
  3. Eckrich
  4. Hebrew National
  5. Simply Balanced
  6. Aidells
  7. Jennie-O
  8. Boar’s Head
  9. Oscar Mayer
  10. O Organics

The top ten specialty and regional hot dog brands

  1. Gardein
  2. Taverrite’s
  3. Field to Family Natural Foods
  4. Evergood Fine Foods
  5. Showboat
  6. Diestel
  7. Nature’s Rancher
  8. Yves Veggie Cuisine
  9. Fra’Mani Handcrafted Foods
  10. Lou’s Famous

The best single hot dog according to the Clear Food score?  Oscar Mayer Premium Jumbo Beef Franks, followed by Ball Park Angus Beef Franks and Hebrew National Franks.

And if you’re a vegetarian, your best bet for getting exactly what you paid for is Trader Joe’s.

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