We all like hot dogs . . . especially on summer holiday weekends. But does anyone know for sure what’s IN them? We’ve all heard the stories . . . so here are some delicious hot dog ingredients for you to suck down . . .
They’re usually made out of pork or beef. Some hot dogs contain a combination of both pork AND beef. And cheaper hot dogs usually have chicken in them. If the label just says “meat,” that means there’s a mixture of beef, pork, and sometimes chicken.
But what do they REALLY mean by “meat?” That could mean one of two things. First, “trimmings.” That’s the meat that’s left over when they’re done cutting steaks or pork chops. It gets ground up into hot dog paste, the same way they make ground beef.
That doesn’t sound that bad, right? Hold on. It’s time you heard about “Mechanically Separated Meat” . . . or MSM. Because “meat” can mean anything that’s been separated from a bone, and a lot of hot dogs are made out of MSM too. Here’s how it works.
When they’ve taken all the good meat off of beef, pork, or chicken bones, they put the bones . . . along with skin, feet and even heads . . . in a centrifuge.
Then the centrifuge spins really fast while high-pressure water jets spray inside. That way, the edible meat tissue is separated out into a pink paste. Delicious!
Either way, whether the meat is from “trimmings,” or mechanically separated meat, or both, it gets stirred up with water, food starch, salt, corn syrup, and flavorings . . . like garlic, sugar, mustard, coriander, and white pepper . . . and shoved into tubes.
If you’re wondering whether your hot dogs contain meat that’s been mechanically separated . . . just check the ingredients. Companies are required by law to label their dogs that way.
There are other rules too: Hot dogs can’t have more than 20% mechanically separated pork. And because of Mad Cow disease, they can’t have ANY mechanically separated beef anymore.
But they CAN legally contain up to 3.5% filler . . . like cereals or soy . . . up to 10% water . . . and 30% fat.
And while most dogs ARE made from these combination of meats and by-products . . . all-beef hot dogs CAN’T have soy or other fillers in them.
Oh, and hot dogs have a ton of sodium nitrate in them. It acts as a preservative, fixes the color . . . and may cause cancer. Eat up!