Everyone knows it by now. Whenever we eat processed meat, in the back of our minds we know that there may be “stuff” in there that isn’t what we paid for. But rest assured, there is more to these mystery meats than you ever wanted to know. The food testing company known as Clear Labs recently studied samples from 258 different burgers, and they not only found rat DNA, which has been widely known about for many years, they also found an abundance of human DNA. According to their report:
“The most likely cause is hair, skin, or fingernail that was accidentally mixed in during the manufacturing process.” Or at least we should all hope it’s from something as mundane as skin and fingernails, and not, you know, from some poor hapless plant worker who’s been missing for months. The report also added that “What many consumers don’t know is that some amounts of human and rat DNA may fall within an acceptable regulatory range.”
However, the scariest thing they found was that 4.3% of the burgers contained “pathogenic DNA” that could cause food poisoning, such as gastroenteritis, E. coli, and “tuberculosis-like symptoms.”
On the bright side, the study did discover something that meat eaters will get a good laugh out of at the expense of their vegetarian friends. Clear Labs also examined vegetarian burgers, and found that a quarter of these burgers have ingredients that don’t match up with the label. That includes one black bean burger that didn’t have black beans, and two veggie burgers that actually contained beef.