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Sausage is a carnivorous delicacy that meat-eating humans can’t get enough of. Thanks to science, vegetarians have their own version of the breakfast specialty that honestly doesn’t taste anything like plants. That’s because according to a recent study by Clear Sky, a percentage of veggie sausages contain traces of real meat.

Before you vomit in disgust, you should first know that only 10 percent of the samples from the research came back positive. For many, those odds are still risky. A devout vegetarian probably isn’t interested in playing a game of Russian meat roulette with his or her sausage every morning.

The safest processed meats that passed the ingredients test includes Taverrite’s Mild Italian Pork Sausage from Safeway, the 365 Mild Italian Chicken Sausage and Aidells Organic Smoked Chicken Sausage from Whole Foods and the Ball Park Smoked White Turkey Franks from Target. So if you’re munching away at any of these brands, you can be sure that you’re not eating anything weird.

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Human Meat?

The study turns even darker when the group tested for human DNA. Similar to the real meat debacle, deoxyribonucleic acid surfaced on two percent of the samples. But before you update your Facebook profile to reflect your unforeseen cannibalistic practices, you should first know that it is unlikely that someone accidentally fell in the hotdog machine at the sausage factory. Scientists at Clear Sky use genetic testing to weed out inconsistencies in our favorite foods. This means that the rogue DNA could’ve been a ball of hair or a fingernail that inconveniently made its way into the processor.

“I think we’re going to see a lot more of this type of analysis happening, seeing how well food content matches food label,” said Melinda Wilkins, a professor at Michigan State University who also specializes in food safety. “When you’re working with genetic material, depending on the analytic technique, you can detect a very, very small amount of DNA that’s not supposed to be in there. So this accusation of finding human DNA in there, you can detect a very small amount, but they’re not quantifying the amount. It could be just a few cells versus a percentage content.”

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Other Labeling Woes

Unknowingly eating hair particles? That’s easy to brush off. But what about pork? Sadly, over three percent of “no pork” products or chicken and turkey substitute claims are inaccurate. This is a major issue for people with strict religious beliefs and medical restrictions. Gym fanatics are also affected by careless labeling. Apparently, a number of brands that were tested lied about the amount of protein in their vegetarian products. In most cases, the figure was beefed up by as much as 2.5 times to make their offerings more appealing to health enthusiasts.

With misleading labels flooding grocery stores across the country, the best way to steer clear from such misconceptions is to avoid processed meat at all costs. Go back to cooking food from scratch if you have time. It tastes better and you’ll never have to question what you’re eating.

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