Your Favorite Burger Is Probably Full of Rat DNA, So Have Fun Barbecuing This Weekend


If you've ever been suspicious of hamburger meat before, we have confirmatory bad news.

A new study from Clear Labs, a food analytics platform best known for something called "The Hotdog Report," examined 258 burger products on the molecular level. 

What they found isn't just bad for carnivores. It throws a wrench in the diet of vegetarians, too.

According to the report, of the 258 samples, two vegetarian products contained meat. One black bean burger didn't have any black beans in it. Around 4.3% of the samples contained pathogenic — like bacterial or viral — DNA. Three samples contained rat DNA. One contained human DNA.


Overall, 13.6% of the samples had either hygienic issues, some kind of pathogen, missing ingredients or a substitution ingredient — beef in chicken patties, pork in ground beef, and so on.

The findings basically show problems for people with food allergies, religious dietary needs and anyone who doesn't like eating people parts — which is hopefully almost everyone.


The samples all came from retailers and fast food chains in Northern California. Some of them were just West Coast brands. Others were from national businesses.

What's maybe most alarming about the findings is how they could completely throw the whole "meat is dangerous, eat vegetarian" argument out the window. If your veggie burger patties contain meat, and your cooking method is just the ol' veggie burger heat-'em-up, maybe you aren't properly cooking the stow-away meat elements hidden among the beans and whatever else the patty contains. That could just be opening the French doors of your intestines up to food poisoning.

The lesson here is clear: Don't eat anything. Ever.