UNITED STATES — Your franks may not be being frank with you if you’re a vegetarian.
According to a study from Clear Labs, a food analytics startup, 10 percent of vegetarian hot dog products contain meat.
Perhaps worse, the company found hygiene issues in four of its 21 vegetarian samples. It also found human DNA in 2 percent of its hot dog samples — and two-thirds of the vegetarian samples.
Overall, 14.4 percent 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.
However, according to Snopes.com, the “claim about meat and human DNA adulterants did not originate with a “study” of any sort. Its findings lay solely with a brand new, private company who didn’t disclose any details of their purported testing (or any proof that meaningful research was undertaken at all).”