Would you like some cheese-product on your encased meat leftovers? While hot dogs are an American staple, people who indulge in the highly processed food should take note—they likely aren’t as wholesome as you’d like to believe. And now that Kraft has admitted to mislabeling some 96,000 pounds of hot dogs, they could actually be even more dangerous for some people.
Kraft Foods mislabeled their Classic Cheese Dogs as plain hot dogs. Not a big deal? Hardly. For about 2.5% of the population, milk allergies can lead to serious and deadly reactions, and without knowing there is cheese-ish dairy product running through their hot dogs, they could unknowingly give themselves a serious allergic reaction.
Milk allergies and lactose intolerance are not the same thing. With milk allergies, most often affecting children and infants, ingesting dairy products and specifically S1-casein, a protein found in dairy, can cause anaphylaxis (or the constricting of the airways). It can also cause hives and vomiting. People with milk allergies, as with other severe allergies, must constantly be on the look-out for products containing dairy.
That isn’t to say those who are lactose intolerant shouldn’t double check their hot dogs. Lactose intolerance is believed to affect around 70% of the population. These people can’t digest lactose found in milk products and end up suffering with cramps, bloating, diarrhea, and flatulence when dairy products are ingested.
For some folks, finding out your hot dog is actually a cheese dog would be reason to celebrate—like an unexpected prize in the bottom of your cereal box. But the recall gives consumers just another reason to reevaluate their food choices.
Nitrates, corn syrup, and separated meat (a sort of paste created from leftovers from meat production) are just a few of the appetizing contents of hot dogs. These foods are cheap and a childhood favorite though, so many consumers simply disregard the risks.
These potential risks include an increased risk of obesity and even an increased risk of cancer.
“A hot dog a day could send you to an early grave,” says dietitian Susan Levin of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
Hot dogs, whether they have cheese or not, are not a healthful food choice. This isn’t a statement of opinion on the questionable value of separated meat, but a statement of fact regarding the additives combined with that meat.