Whether they’re being enjoyed at a barbecue, brought to a baseball game, or quickly prepared as a snack, hot dogs are an American classic. Quick, easy, and satisfying, hot dogs may seem like the perfect allergen-friendly food for people managing a restricted diet—but are hot dogs dairy-free? And if not, what allergens can be found in hot dogs?
If you are lactose intolerant or have dairy allergies, identifying safe, allergen-free foods can be a challenge. Some of the most beloved food products, hot dogs included, can present particular difficulties. Do you know what goes into hot dog meat? And more specifically, do you know if it contains dairy?
We’re going to take a look at the hot dog ingredients list, how it relates to common allergens, and whether hot dogs really contain lactose. If you’re looking for tasty, allergen-friendly options, understanding this iconic food’s ingredients is key.
Nutritional composition of hot dogs
A single hot dog of beef will supply your body with fats, fiber, sugar, protein, sodium, carbohydrates, and lots more.
A single hot dog wrapped in a bun has 18.6 grams of fat, which provides your body with almost 300 calories. The hot dog alone contains over 180 calories and more than 50 grams of fat.
The hot dog bun, on the other hand, is often prepared from refined white flour and has more than 120 calories.
The bun and hot dog provide relatively little fiber, accounting for only 0.8 grams in a typical hot dog snack. Also, a single hot dog has 13 grams of protein.
Are hot dogs dairy free?
Hot dogs are typically dairy-free. The base ingredients used in making hot dogs are beef, pork, chicken, or a combination of them and other seasonings and preservatives. Traditional hot dog recipes are usually devoid of milk and cheese.
However, cross-contamination can occur in facilities where both dairy and dairy-free products are processed, as well as in eateries and restaurants where keeping certain foods gluten-free isn’t a priority. You should always confirm the process used in making your hot dogs in eateries.
The following factors could also lead to your hot dog being contaminated with gluten:
Dairy-infused hot dogs
Most dairy-infused hot dogs have milk proteins pumped into them as a filler to allow them to grow in size. This technique is typically used in huge commercial quantities for the production of hot dogs. Filling hot dog sausages with milk allows the hot dog producer to conserve extra costs and boost production while using fewer meat grinds. Hot dog makers in the United States are not required to disclose or give notice to consumers when allergens such as milk are used in production. If you are allergic to dairy products, you must carefully read the ingredients.
A binding agent is a non-toxic, delicious, stabilizing, and addictive substance that gives hot dogs their unique cylindrical form. Major hot dog makers use these binding substances to keep their hot dogs stable and uniform in structure. These binding compounds are frequently found in dairy-derived proteins such as whey or casein. One of the primary reasons manufacturers use this strategy is to cut production costs.
How to identify if your hot dog contains dairy products
Take care not to pass up any opportunity to identify dairy in your hot dog. Dairy may be found in your hot dog without your knowledge. Even some dairy-infused hot dogs claim to be “100% beef,” but they aren’t. Although hot dog makers do not list dairy items as allergens, they are required to mention in the ingredients if dairy or a dairy-derived product was used in the making of the hot dog.
Checking the ingredients is the simplest way to find dairy in your hot dog. A thorough examination of the hot dog’s ingredients reveals its dairy content, saving you the worry of being allergic to milk-infused hot dogs.
Another important step in determining the dairy in your hot dog is to look for the kosher symbol. Kosher refers to a set of Jewish meal dietary guidelines that assist the Jewish faithful as to what may and must not be consumed. One of the foods the Kosher frowns upon is the mixing of meat and dairy, which is against Exodus 23:19 and is therefore prohibited for consumption by the Jewish faithful. The Kosher sign cannot be used on hot dogs that include dairy-derived or dairy-infused ingredients. The presence of the Kosher symbol implies that the hot dog or other meat is free of dairy-infused ingredients.
Brands that make dairy-free hot dogs
If you don’t have time to check through labels or look for the Kosher sign, here are some of the biggest brands offering 100% meat hot dogs that are dairy-free.
Aidells Sausages is a US-based sausage company that makes hot dogs containing chicken, beef, spices, and other ingredients. The company has been envied for making spicy sausages that are dairy-free. All Aidells sausages are dairy-free, excluding the following: the brand’s spinach and feta sausage, the spicy beacon and bleu cheese char-broilers, the pesto sausage, and the cheddar char-broilers.
Another US sausage maker that produces hot dogs that are dairy-free is Applegate Farms. All hot dogs by Applegate Farms are free from any dairy or milk-infused content, as seen in most brands. Nonetheless, the spinach and feta-flavored sausage of the brand contains dairy.
Coleman Natural is another company offering you hot dogs that are dairy-free. The brand’s hot dogs are also gluten- and soy-protein-free and are only made with products sourced from nature.
Hot dogs are traditionally dairy-free but could possibly contain some dairy as a result of what is used in producing them or the ethics of the restaurant where you intend to buy some. A very good way to ensure your hotdog is free of dairy is to check the label, thoroughly investigate the ingredients used, and also ask the eateries what is in their hot dogs.