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Genomic Testing Finds Meat in Vegetarian Products

posted: 10/26/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
Hot dog gone wrong
NWphotoguy/iStock

Genomic testing has revealed surprising information about commercially produced hot dog and sausage products.

After testing more than 300 different samples from 75 popular brands, California-based Clear Labs has found that nearly 15% of sausages and hot dogs available in grocery stores have issues with hygiene and labelling integrity. The company used molecular analysis to compare a food's actual contents to what's stated on its label.

Vegetarian hot dog products suffered a butchering defeat: a whopping two-thirds of these foods contained human DNA, while 10% contained traces of meat. Nearly 20% of meatless products were found to have hygienic issues of some sort.

Furthermore, many meat-based products that were tested contained the wrong kind of meat: 8% of products sampled contained unlabeled pork, chicken, beef, turkey or lamb.

The exhaustive report examined products from dozens of brands across price points. Interestingly, study authors concluded that there is not a strong correlation between price and product quality.

The report's authors do, however, note that, to a limited degree, hygienic issues and labelling variation are permitted under FDA regulations.

"While some of these substitutions, hygienic issues, other variances, or off-label ingredients may be permitted by the FDA, our scientific disclosure allows you, as the consumer, to decide whether the variance or problems meet your personal standard in your buying decision," report authors wrote.

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