No, It’s Not a Hoax: Hot Dogs Actually Tested Positive for Human DNA

October 26, 2015   |   Claire Bernish

Claire Bernish
October 26, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA) If you’ve ever chosen the prosaic American classic at a grill out, you’ve likely suffered the snarky query: “You really gonna eat that? Do you have any idea what they put in hot dogs?!”

While insect parts, eyeballs, and that one oddly unidentifiable hard bit might cross your mind, any suggestion a hot dog contains human DNA likely sounds facetious. It shouldn’t. An astonishing 14.4% of samples tested for The Hot Dog Report” by Clear Food — which provides molecular analysis of commonly purchased food brands — were euphemistically labeled “problematic.”

According to the report:

“Clear Food found human DNA in 2% of the samples, and in 2/3rds of the vegetarian samples.”

That’s not all. If you’re vegetarian or you have dietary constraints for religious or ethical reasons, it’s important you know just how little labeling matters:

“10% of vegetarian products contained meat.” Chicken showed up in a veggie breakfast sausage and pork was found in a veggie hot dog.
Vegetarian selections had labels exaggerating protein content “by as much as 2.5 times.”
– Vegetarian selections were also responsible for 67% of cases in the report where human DNA was detected —4 of 21 veggie samples had these hygiene issues.
Pork had been randomly substituted for the chicken or turkey listed in the label’s ingredients in 3% of samples “in products of all price ranges.”
–  Unexpected substitutions occurred with startling frequency. Overall, the number and type of undisclosed ingredients were: chicken (10 samples), pork (9), beef (4), turkey (3), and lamb (2).

Hot dogs seem to be dubbed “mystery meat” for perfectly valid reasons.

A few hot dog brands tested quite well, upholding their label claims and leaving out the human element. Of major brands, Butterball, McCormick, Eckrich, and Hebrew National tied for top score. In the “specialty and regional” category, Gardein, Taverrite’s, and Field to Family Natural Foods garnered top spots.

“Despite the problems we found, what was most promising in our tests was the fact that there are a number of hot dog manufacturers, large and small, that are producing high-quality hot dogs with integrity. These producers are not limited to organic producers or high-end specialty brands,” the report stated.

Clear Food offers several suggestions, including staying away from chicken products if you avoid pork and shopping Trader Joe’s if you’re vegetarian.

With such unsettling findings, perhaps the question should be asked once again:

“Are you really gonna eat that??”

This article (No, It’s Not a Hoax: Hot Dogs Actually Tested Positive for Human DNA) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Claire Bernish and Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, email

Author: Claire Bernish

Claire Bernish joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in May of 2015. Her topics of interest include thwarting war propaganda through education, the refugee crisis & related issues, 1st Amendment concerns, ending police brutality, and general government & corporate accountability. Born in North Carolina, she now lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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  1. So, please define what they mean by human DNA. Did someone who was bleeding, work on the line?

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  2. i dont know if any of our foods are what they started out being. everything has additives and preservatives. unless you bless your food and keep your immune system in good health, we will get some form of illness. i have recently switched to Hebrew National hot dogs, and non-processed, salted deli meats. but one thing I have Learned is nobody dies until its their time.

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  3. could be tiny hair follicles, someone got cut, people shedding dead skin into the meat mix,

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  4. I call BS on this article. I work for the USDA and know exactly what is in hotdogs. These people need to get the correct facts before publishing incorrect information.

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  5. Yes it is a hoax. Clear Foods is NOT a known or reputable source, they are a Kickstarter upstart that popped up a few weeks ago and have no other history. Furthermore, they have posted nothing and refuse to answer any specifics as to how the study was carried out.

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  6. The way you are quoting the report is very misleading. For instance, you say that 2/3 of the vegetarian samples has human DNA while the report says 2% of the samples have human DNA (hygienic issues) and 2/3 of that 2% is from vegetarian samples.

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  7. Human handling…any of the newer high tech instruments can easily pick up a hair follicle, or any unseen, minute bit of human DNA. Chances are high the next thing we see will be human DNA in our canned veggies. . Hot dogs aren't healthy, but are delicious. We all know this. Next.

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  8. I think you should consider this as a possibility… I have heard that pigs will eat anything. Including humans
    …think about it.

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  9. The study wrote: "Clear Food found human DNA in 2% of the samples. 2/3rds of the samples with human DNA were vegetarian products."
    That's very different from the way this article chose to phrase it.

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  10. Crystal Dawn Hardinger You have heard right, they will eat just about anything. There have been cases of people feeding murder victims to pigs to dispose of evidence.

    Although in this case I highly doubt any of the meat produce you will eat in your lifetime will contain anything other than just hair and dead skin cells from a human, it's not like the thousands of meat factories/farms have people lining up at their door to dispose of their dead bodies.

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  11. Im making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do…

    ++?????? ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­llllllllllwww.Jointoday3.comllllllllll

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  12. what could it mean: human dna found in hotdogs…you mean …fingerprints and hairpieces…ah yes,,that must be it.

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  13. The story is not a hoax, but it is not substantiated truth itself. Clear Source has released no info on study methods, no raw data, and cited no actual test numbers. They are a self-created, self promoting firm that wants food producers to pay for their "certification". This sounds a lot like a mob protection racket. We would be well ahead if we simply funded real FDA inspection regimes instead of bowing to corporate blackmail. The food processor brands that bought of legislators to cut FDA funding and oversight are now at the mercy of a fake testing firm with a good social media campaign.

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  14. Oh, by the way, I cut my finger doing a chiffonade of basil leaves for a vegan Thai curry I was making last week. Although we found and removed the small piece of finger and nail I cut off, I'm sure a sensitive test would have shown the presence of my DNA in the vegan meal.

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  15. Y'all can find videos of how hot dogs are really made. I've seen a few, where they dump whole animals, like the entire animal. They'll dump a whole pig with it's skin and hair and hooves not removed, like bones and all. They added horses and cows. Then, I heard from a close friend that he was at work (meat place) where a man FELL INTO THE giant grinder. All the people just heard him scream one last time. Production of the machinery WAS NOT STOPPED because it would have caused much more loss of money and time than what the man's life was worth to them. It is a disgusting business, my friends. Look these things up on youtube, google, and you will find the truth.

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  16. Marina Donald Giella If it makes you feel any better, the ones where they dump the whole animal in are likely factories for animal food (dog food, cat food etc). The videos are spliced together to cause "fearmongering".

    Also, your close friend Lied to you, as that would cause a lawsuit that would cost more than what they would have lost by shutting down the machinery.

    People fall into these machines all the time, but the idea that a man goes "missing" into the product is an urban myth. There are many many reasons that would not and does not happen. Might want to talk to that friend.

    Keeping it "quiet" would be very very expensive indeed, and wouldn't be worth the cost of Not shutting it down.

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  17. .
    So if it is not a hoax …

    (“Clear Food found human DNA in 2% of the samples, and in 2/3rds of the vegetarian samples.”)

    Also in Vegetatarian samples …. so how do they test for Human DNA?

    How much of this Dna is needed to be able to tell which kind animal the DNA belongs to.

    Is a (huidschilfer = skin flake) scale of a persons skin enough?
    We do loose skin all the time. Even if you are fully clothed and wear cloves have a hairnet in productionrooms … there is still skin visable and so skin tiny bits can end up in foodstuffs.

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  18. Tami Gill Ludwig Read the article. It's very clearly a hoax.
    It can't be proven because none of the claims can be reviewed or substantiated.
    If you say "I have a dragon in my basement" but refuse to let anyone look in your basement, that's stil an unproven claim.

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  19. I believe that 2/3 stands on its own. Because later in the article it says 67% of vegan products yaddah yaddah. .. anyways 2/3 is the same as 67%.

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  20. Ya right. They are grinding up people into hot dogs. Give us a break ya fucking idiots. What a bunch of fake ass bullshit. Sad bastards.

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  21. i was thinking about it but its too mean
    oh what the hell sho how much you swallow a day a leater 2 leaters hell lets say a gallon

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  22. I recognize none of those brands but Hebrew National and Butterball, which I did not even know they made hotdogs.

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  23. Dammit, I'm always late to the party… I wonder if many single women work in the hot dog factory? Maybe there's more to the story.

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