Lab tests find human and rat DNA in burgers


(WFLA) — A recent analysis of burger products found a few offensive extras like rat DNA and human DNA.

Clear Labs released the results of its most recent test that analyzed 258 samples of ground meat, frozen patties, fast-food burger products and veggie burger products from 79 brands and 22 retailers.

Clear Labs uses high-tech testing to screen food to see if the food actually contains what is listed on its packaging. The food tests screen for substituted ingredients, contamination, gluten, toxic fungi and plants, other allergens and missing ingredients. The company also examines food to see if it contains the same amount of nutrients that is listed on its packaging.

The results of Clear Labs “Hamburger Report” netted some disturbing results for carnivores and vegetarians. Of the 258 samples-

  • In 2 cases, meat was found in vegetarian products.
  • There were no black beans in one black bean burger that was tested.
  • The lab found 3 cases of rat DNA (unpleasant, but not considered harmful)
  • The lab found 1 case of human DNA (unpleasant, but not considered harmful)

Clear Labs said in its report that vegetarian products did not fare well with 23.6 percent of the products tested showing some form of discrepancy between the label and actual product.

Clear Labs said that it identified problems with substitution, hygienic issues and pathogenic contamination in 13.6 percent of the 258 burger products it analyzed. The lab said researchers found several cases of substitutions or unexpected ingredients like meat that was not on a product’s label.

The tests found evidence of substitution in 16 products or 6.6 percent of all samples including beef, chicken, turkey, pork, rye, and sunchoke in products that were not supposed to have these ingredients.

Clear Labs found a low incidence of hygienic problems; 1.6 percent in samples that were analyzed.

“The low incidence of hygienic issues surfaced by our study is a testament to the burger industry as a whole and the stringent protocols for safe food handling. As noted by the FDA, certain low levels of contamination are acceptable,” said Clear Labs in the report.

Human DNA was found in one frozen vegetarian burger sample. The tests can not tell the exact source of the DNA. However, Clear labs said it most likely came from hair, skin or a fingernail that was accidentally mixed in.

Rat DNA was found in three samples: a fast food burger, a ground meat sample and a vegetarian burger.

Clear Labs said that human and rat DNA is unpleasant, but it is unlikely that it is harmful to human health.

Information from the Clear Labs report was included in this story. Read the full report here. 

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