All Hot Dogs Contain Human DNA myth

Do all hot dogs contain human DNA?

Not all hot dogs contain human DNA, but a 2015 study found 6 of the 345 hot dogs they studied contained human DNA, 4 of which were vegetarian products.[1]

An official video from Clear Food. The Hot Dog Report video.

What Study Found Hot Dogs Contained Human DNA?

Clear food is a project by Clear Labs that focuses on using genomic technology to analyze food around the world. A 2015 study by Clear Food of 75 brands, using 345 samples, at 10 retailers showed that 14.4% of the dogs were problematic in some way.

The key findings of the Clear Food “Hot Dog Report” study included:

  • 2% containing human DNA.
  • 10% of vegetarian products contained meat.
  • Labels exaggerated the amount of protein.
  • 4 of the 21 vegetarian products had hygienic issues. This accounted for 67% of hygienic issues.
  • 3% included pork where no pork should be, typically being subsidized for chicken or turkey.

What Does it Mean to Find Human DNA in Food?

Do all hot dogs contain human DNA?

The tests performed couldn’t tell the exact cause of finding human DNA in the food. The researchers theorized that “the most likely cause is hair, skin, or fingernail that was accidentally mixed in during the manufacturing process.”[1]

The results are likely in the “acceptable regulatory range” of what entities like the FDA would consider acceptable in food. Small bits of human skin in your food are unlikely to harm you, although they are certainly not “hygienic” and are off-putting.

It is of greater concern that 3% of pork-free hot dogs contained pork, since consuming pork can be a religious issue.

There is a Bigger Issue

The even more significant issue is that food researchers found was that 10% of vegetarian products contained meat and that 67% of hygienic issues were found in vegetarian options. This, combined with other misrepresentations of ingredients, make it extremely hard for those with allergies or food restrictions to used packaged items.

According to the researchers, “It is unlikely that human DNA is harmful to consumer health. In general, we consider human DNA a hygienic issue that degrades the quality of food more than a public health concern. Human DNA in products in our opinion speaks more issues of truth in advertising, pricing, and overall transparency.”[1]


The Takeaway on the Clear Labs Study

Not all hot dogs contain human DNA and not all veggie dogs contain meat, but certainly the number that do should be closer to zero. The sample size of the study was small, but new technology that allows us to look at food under a microscope should be considered when choosing our diet.


Not all hot dogs contain DNA, but a fairly disturbing study by Clear Food from 2015 found that out of 345 hot dogs 6 contained human DNA and that 4 of those were supposed to be vegetarian hot dogs.


  1. The hot dog report“. Jan 7, 2016.

Author: Thomas DeMichele

Thomas DeMichele is the content creator behind,,, and other and Massive Dog properties. He also contributes to MakerDAO and other cryptocurrency-based projects. Tom's focus in all...

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