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New DNA Tests Reveal What Mystery Meat's Actually in Your Hot Dog

Scientists unzip the genes in frankfurters and can detect as little as .1% of a foreign substance.
Claire Benoist

Say you’re an observant Jew who doesn’t eat pork. Or a Hindu who doesn’t eat beef.

Or a human who doesn’t eat...human.

Wouldn’t you like to know if one of those, er, species—or any other offensive, unhygienic, or allergy-causing matter—is lurking in your frankfurter?

Then you’re in luck: Malaysian scientists now have a highly accurate DNA test for exposing dirty dogs.

Granted, a form of wiener gene testing already existed. That’s how, last fall, a U.S. lab found human DNA in 2% of 345 hot dogs and sausages it analyzed. (From a single cell of a tester’s hands, or a factory worker’s cut-off thumb? Hard to tell.)

But the new test can sniff out as little as 0.1% of an alien substance—like the buffalo (a cheap meat in Asia) found in Malaysia’s “beef” hot dogs.

No word on when the new test will be used here—but frankly, the sooner, the better.

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