Gross Video Shows You How Hot Dogs Are Mass-Produced

The Daily Meal – by Jessica Chou

New York dirty water dogs might be a classic, but mass-produced hot dogs are actually kind of gross. How It’s Made released this video showing the makings of classic hot dogs, and it’s not pretty.

Sausage manufacturers take pork, beef, and chicken trimmings (cuts left over from larger steaks or pork chops), grind them together, add processed chicken trimmings that look particularly pink slime-y, add some food starch, bags and bags of salt and spice, and churn them all into giant vats of meat goo. Lovely.   

Then there’s the corn syrup, obviously, and the funneling of all the meat goo into cellulose casings, where they get cooked and cooled and steamed and split and de-cased. Fun fact: It takes 30 seconds to twist enough hot dogs to span a soccer field twice.

Watch below to see the entire, fascinating process (apparently these are John Morrell Sausages?), especially as the announcer talks about firing up the grill to make delicious hot dogs, when the hot dogs no longer look delicious. It’s very upsetting.

5 thoughts on “Gross Video Shows You How Hot Dogs Are Mass-Produced

  1. We ran a medical emergency one time at a well known company that makes various lunch meat products, but is known for their hot dog jingle.

    An employee had cut off part of a finger and blood had gushed all over the place and he was still bleeding and still near the machine where the pink slime was being vomited out. And the line was still running.

    We shut down the operation and called in the health department after tending to the emergency.

    Hope none of that bloody pink slime made it into those hot dogs.

    1. Oh yes Greg, I’m sure they threw out tons of the stuff, shut down the entire operation for a couple days to do a thorough and complete sanitary cleanup, and restarted only after the USDA inspector’s palms were properly “greased”.

  2. what needs to happen is prime choice cuts need to be ground up and used instead of trimmings that way we can pay 10 times the cost for hotdogs, how long would that last? Picky eaters nowadays, old days people didnt waste anything when they buthcered their own, but dont waste anything in a factory setting and its disgusting.

  3. This is not much different than making your own sausage at home. Anyone whose ever cased deer or turkey can tell you that this article is an over-reaction and just trying to ride the pink slime coat tails. Now the sanitary environment at some processors may be in question and the fact that some use ammonia derivatives to “sterilize” rotting meat should be what you focus on; not the fact that pre-processed sausages look like a strawberry shake.

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