Of the variety of ingredients in the food supply, few spark more rumor and speculation than the ingredients in a hot dog. But contrary to common beliefs that hot dogs include “everything but the oink,” today’s wieners are made from exactly what is listed in the ingredients statement on the package. Ingredients combined with meat and poultry in a hot dog recipe can add flavor, keep hot dogs moist and juicy, delay spoilage, and perhaps most importantly, enhance food safety.
In an effort to provide more information and transparency, the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC) developed a new Hot Dog Ingredients Guide which details the role each ingredient may play in a hot dog. The guide is searchable to allow users to easily find ingredients they see listed on their favorite package of hot dogs.
“Hot dogs taste great because of their ingredients and we want people to know what is used to make them and why,” said NHDSC President Eric Mittenthal. “Each manufacturer has its own recipes, but as consumers seek more information about their food, the guide will be a helpful tool to better understand hot dogs and how they are made.”
The guide also includes descriptions of common terms consumers might find on packages such as “uncured”, “natural casing”, “hormone free” or “organic.”
The guide complements the NHDSC’s resources on how hot dogs are made including a video showing the process from start to finish inside a meat plant. The guide is available at www.hot-dog.org along with many other resources about hot dogs and sausages including consumption statistics, history, fun facts and a restaurant guide.