None of us expect to get 100% beef from a fast food restaurant anymore, after years of claims have been made stating that the majority of this “meat” is soy, preservatives or horse. Unfortunately, now, it appears that eating at your local fast food chain could turn you into a cannibal.
Clear Labs recently conducted a study by sampling 258 U.S fast food chain burgers. During this study, they found two cases of meat in vegetarian products, and three burgers that contained rat DNA and one case of human DNA.
According to Clear Labs, “While unpleasant, it’s important to note that it is unlikely that human DNA or rat DNA is harmful to consumer health. What many consumers don’t know is that some amounts of human and rat DNA may fall within an acceptable regulatory range.”
Bill Marker explained to Vox that, “These tests are very sensitive and can pick up very, very small amounts of DNA. If it is human or rat feces, that would be a greater concern — but hair, not so much … I don’t see anything in the report that’s completely shocking.”
What the company did find that they felt was shocking was burger products that had been mislabeled.
“We encountered several cases of substitutions or unexpected ingredients, including the presence of meats not found on labels and an absence of ingredients advertised on labels,” the report said.
“Unexpected ingredients pose safety risks – when ingredients are present in a product and not reported on the label there is an increased potential for adverse allergic reactions. They also have important cultural implications.”
And around 4% of the burgers contained pathogenic DNA that could cause food-borne illness. Four out of 11 of those burgers were composed of plant-based ingredients. “Most of us, including myself, thought up until now this was more of a risk-free category,” says Ghorashi. “You should take the same amount of stringent measures you would with ground beef.”
Included in the study were the burgers belonging to over 79 brands and 22 retailers that sold ground meat and frozen patty burgers. Clear Labs has maintained that they exclude names of chains and retailers in their report due to the fact that they are not a watchdog agency. You can check out the report for yourself by following this link, but beware because you can’t unlearn what you read.