Hebrew National Hot Dogs are pretty darned tasty, in my opinion. Since my wife introduced me to the brand several years ago, I can't go back to regular hot dogs. The texture is different, the taste is different, the quality is different -- everything about the company's hot dogs is different, and that's most definitely a good thing. Although I hesitate to sing their praises too loudly for fear of folks thinking I've been paid to drone on and on about how good they are, I can't help but think they're among the best hot dogs I've ever consumed. Honestly.
My love for the product has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that these hot dogs are supposed to be kosher, meaning that they have been prepared in accordance with Jewish food laws. However, those of you who purchase Hebrew National for that very reason will probably be alarmed to know that a small group of consumers have filed a lawsuit against ConAgra Foods, Inc., claiming that their hot dogs have been mislabeled as kosher when, in fact, certain aspects of the slaughtering process do not meet requirements.
The "Triangle K" label on the packaging indicates that the hot dogs were prepared with 100 percent kosher beef. However, according to the lawsuit, the slaughtering service employed by ConAgra, AER Services Inc., does not adhere to the necessary standards that warrant the label. As such, the company is allowed to charge higher prices for faux kosher beef.
"This is an invisible fraud," Hart Robinovitch, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, told Reuters. "How does a consumer who thinks he is buying kosher meat really know he is buying kosher meat? It's a very, very difficult thing for a consumer to detect, unless someone investigates."
The lawsuit goes on to state that employees who complained about AER's preparation of the beef were either transferred, threatened, or fired from their positions. Not surprisingly, Shlomo Ben-David, the company's president, claims that all of these allegations directed at the slaughtering process are completely false. ConAgra, which also owns Chef Boyardee, Healthy Choice, Peter Pan and Reddi-wip, is standing behind their product, as well.
"While we can't comment on pending litigation, we stand behind the quality of Hebrew National and its kosher status," the company said in a statement.