Human DNA Found in Hotdogs-Truth! & Misleading!
Summary of eRumor:
A study found that some hotdog brands contained human DNA.
Human DNA was found in about 2% of hot dogs that were analyzed in one study, but that doesn’t mean people who eat them are cannibals.
Clear Labs, a nonprofit group that analyzes food at the molecular level, undertook a “Hot Dog Study” that looked at 345 hotdog and sausage samples marketed under 75 different brands and sold at 10 different retailers:
Each sample we analyze is assigned a Clear Score. The Clear Score is a representation of how closely a product’s label claims match its actual molecular contents. The higher the score, the more closely a product abides by its claims.
To create the score, each item is molecularly analyzed through our proprietary DNA sequencing workflow. We screen for major, medium, and minor substitution, and we deduct points accordingly. We then examine products for nutrition-content accuracy, such as carbs, fat, calories, and protein.
The Hot Dog study found human DNA samples in 2% of the 345 hotdogs and sausages that it looked at. Two-thirds of that human DNA was found in vegetarian hot dogs, according to the study.
Overall, 14.4% of the hotdogs and sausages that were tested were listed as “problematic” because of substituted or unexpected ingredients or hygienic issues.
Human DNA found in hotdogs was classified as a hygienic issue because human hair or skin dander likely got into the product during the manufacturing process. So, it’s true that human DNA was found in hotdog samples — but that doesn’t mean that people who eat hot dogs are cannibals.
The FDA allows many “defects” in processed foods that most people would find even more disgusting than human DNA. Things like maggots, rodent hair, feces, cigarette butts and mold are allowed in processed foods at allowable levels because, the FDA reports:
The FDA set these action levels because it is economically impractical to grow, harvest, or process raw products that are totally free of non-hazardous, naturally occurring, unavoidable defects. Products harmful to consumers are subject to regulatory action whether or not they exceed the action levels.
Because hot dogs don’t appear on the FDA’s list of product defects, the agency would likely decide what action needs to be taken on a “case-by-case basis” if it confirmed the report’s findings.