Hot dogs. Juicy, succulent, mouth-savouring meat. A pink mixed mash of deliciousness. See hot dog, want hot dog, eat hot dog. That's what I think, at least. I might have to think twice though. Some truly disgusting stuff is sometimes found in a hotdiggity.
The New York Times sent a FOIA request to the USDA asking to see the complaints the USDA received about foreign objects in hot dogs and um, it ain't pretty. I know hot dogs aren't exactly the shining saint of natural, healthy human food but I didn't expect it to be this bad. Here's a list of the grossest things that managed to finagle its way into the pink tube we all know and love (and probably ate this past weekend):
small piece of glass worms maggots bone fragments plastic piece of an eyeball piece of metal "something green" rat leg "someone has ejaculated in these hot dogs" Band-Aids rubber glove lock washer "winged insect that resembled a dragonfly inside the package of hot dogs" razor
There's more too, I could only look at about half of the 64 case files the NYT received before grossing myself out. All of these "foreign objects" were in complaints filed with the USDA from 2007 through 2009. Having these case files doesn't mean they're all true but it does mean the USDA investigated these claims to a certain point.
Luckily, in most if not all cases, the USDA determined that there was no "pattern of neglect at the packing plant" and just notified the company that handled the hot dogs. To be fair, foreign objects inside hot dogs are still a pretty rare occurrence. Think about it, there are 20 billion dogs made every year and only a few cases include "foreign objects". That's not too bad of a rate, I suppose? Whatever. I'm never eating a hot dog again. Or at least I won't eat one today.