Baseball season starts next week, and ballpark hot dogs will surely draw thousands of buys. But have you ever wondered what goes into one of America’s favorite foods?
The answer may make you think twice about sinking your teeth into another ballpark frank.
These shocking images, via the Daily Mail, show mass production of hot dogs in a factory and the stomach-churning process of how they are made.
The documentary, recorded for the Discovery Channel’s “How It’s Made,” show the dregs of pork, beef and chicken being ground together, reduced to a pulp and reshaped into hot dog form.
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Hot dogs are made from trimmings of meat left over after cutting steaks and pork chips, which are then ground, pushing the cuts of meat through grated metal plates to resemble ground hamburger.
Processed chicken trimmings are added to this mixture, along with salt, starch, ground mustard and other flavorings.
Water is blended into a big vat and the mixture starts to look like ice cream or mud.
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Next, corn syrup is added for a bit of sweetness before the mixture is pureed to a “fine emulsion.”
Excess air is vacuumed out of the mix before it is pumped into long rows of cellulose casings.
The hot dogs get a liquid “smoke shower” for more flavoring before they bake. Then, the hot dogs are doused in salty water before they are packaged.
The show explains that it only takes 35 seconds to produce enough hot dogs to span a football field twice.
In one shift at the factory, 2.5 million hot dogs will be produced; that’s a mind-blowing 300,000 hot dogs an hour, according to Business Insider.