Is there any truth to the oft-repeated myth about rats’ anus and bug filth etc in hot dogs?
This comes from two sources:
- Hot dogs (and sausage in general) have traditionally been a way to use parts of an animal that people would never buy as a distinct product. Just grind it up and put it in with everything else! Nobody will be the wiser!
While this may be distasteful when you think about it, it’s not really unhealthy or unsanitary. And I guess this probably doesn’t happen as much nowadays, especially with name-brand hot dogs.
- Any processed food will have foreign material in it. Often this is in the form of insects or rodent hair/droppings, as it’s pretty much impossible to store or ship food products without dealing with these pests.
This is pretty widely recognized in the food industry, and food sanitation standards specify maximum levels of these sorts of contaminants. All one can really say is: don’t think about it too much.
Actually, hot dogs and sausage are some of the safest meat products you can buy, from a food poisoning stand point. Apparently, the salt level is so high it hinders bacterial growth. I realize this has absolutely no relevence whatsoever to the OP, but anyway.
Well, Keeve’s link (which should read http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0553212451) references Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. The book was written in 1906, before many of the mandates and requirements the government now puts on meat producers went into effect. Now, I think it’d be kinda hard for the meat packers to do what is described in the book.
If you’re worried about the rat anus and all that other good stuff, just get an all beef frank. It says “all beef” so it must be pure. I hope…
how about “all chicken franks”?
Soylent Green is people…
and Girl Scout cookies!
Meat processing plants are pretty clean, and with hot dogs at least you know those rat anus will be finely ground, well cooked, and pretty much sterile, 'cause they cook the shit out of it. Seriously.
As said above, all food processing plants are real physical locations, with walls and doors and everything. Sometimes unwanted things come in, and get into the product. If you are asking if they specifically kill rats, and then fillet the anus to include in hot dogs, I can safely say NO! (Except for the really tasty “100% pure rat anus” franks you can only get at the high-end specialty shops. IIRC Trader Bob’s had a special on them a couple weeks back.) But sometimes vermin get in the plants, no matter how well they try to prevent it.
Dairy and meat processors have a lot more inspections than other food processors, and when you tour the plants it really shows. Dairy’s are the cleanest by far, but meat processors are a close second. I was in a place that made fake crab’s legs (using fish paste and red dye) that was unbelievably clean, other than this odd fishy smell that they just couldn’t seem to get rid of.
Fish paste, rat anus, Soylent green…
Where can I get quality products like this?
All Stop & Shop has is All-Beef Oscar Meyer Bologna…
I almost keeled over laughing when I saw the “All-Beef” part.
I had a funny thing happen to me a while back that is sort of related < b i g s t r e t c h >
I was in the office of a beef slaughter house, waiting to talk with the manager about some refrigeration issues, and there was this big box of chrome covered magnet thingies. I picked some up and started playing with them, making cool designs, etc. They were about 3 inches long, and maybe three quarters of an inch in diameter, and shaped like capsules, sort of cylinders with rounded ends. They were strong magnets, and I kept wondering why they would have a big box of them just sitting there.
Anyhow, the manager comes out and sees me playing with these things, and smiles.
I say “These are cool. My kids would love these.”
He says “Take a few, we have lots.”
I say “Thanks. What are they for?”
He says “The ranchers make the cows swallow them, and they stay in the cows stomachs, and attract any piece of ferrous metal the cows might accidentially eat. When we cut open the cows, we collect them and ship them back to the ranchers.” He is still smiling big, the smug bastard was trying to gross me out.
I washed my hands for a while, and really cleaned the magnets well before I let my kids play with them.
Ranchers even have a name for the condition of cattle which become ill from eating metal. Its called “hardware disease”.