Eckrich Bologna Blues: The Great Meat Mystery

Have you ever bitten into a piece of bologna that just tasted off? Maybe it was a little too gray or had a weird texture. Well, you’re not alone. Many people have noticed something strange about Eckrich bologna, a popular brand of lunch meat. While Eckrich has been around for over 120 years and is known for their high-quality meat products, there seems to be something amiss with their bologna. Some people even claim that it makes them sick. In this article, we’ll explore the Great Meat Mystery that is Eckrich bologna.

The Seed Keyword: Eckrich Bologna Blues

Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room: what is causing the Eckrich bologna blues? There are a few theories floating around, but nothing concrete. Some people think that the bologna is old or has been sitting on the shelf for too long. Others speculate that the meat is low quality or contains questionable ingredients. There are even rumors that the bologna is made using mechanically separated meat, a process that involves grinding up animal carcasses and bones to extract every last scrap of meat. Yikes!

The History of Eckrich

Before we dive deeper into the controversy surrounding Eckrich bologna, let’s take a moment to learn about the company’s history. Eckrich was founded in 1894 by Peter Eckrich, a German immigrant who had a passion for making sausage. He started with a small shop in Illinois and eventually expanded to other states, becoming one of the largest independent meatpackers in the country. Today, Eckrich is owned by Smithfield Foods, a subsidiary of the Chinese company WH Group.

The Ingredients of Eckrich Bologna

One of the biggest concerns surrounding Eckrich bologna is the quality of the ingredients. According to the company’s website, their bologna is made from “high-quality cuts of beef and pork” and “contains no artificial colors, flavors, or by-products.” However, some people claim that the meat in the bologna is of low quality, and there are no shortage of horror stories about finding strange things in the meat. One Reddit user claims to have found a piece of bone in their Eckrich bologna, while others have reported finding bits of plastic.

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The Mechanically Separated Meat Controversy

Another concern about Eckrich bologna is that it may contain mechanically separated meat (MSM). MSM is a process that involves grinding up animal carcasses and bones to extract every last scrap of meat. The resulting substance is a kind of paste that is then used to make hot dogs and bologna, among other things. MSM has been banned in some countries, including the EU, due to concerns about its safety and ethics.

According to a 2013 report by Consumer Reports, the USDA allows MSM in products like hot dogs and bologna, as long as it doesn’t make up more than 20% of the product. However, there is no requirement for manufacturers to disclose the use of MSM on their labels. This means that it’s possible for Eckrich bologna to contain MSM without consumers knowing.

The Gray and Slimy Bologna Dilemma

Perhaps the most common complaint about Eckrich bologna is that it has a strange texture and color. Many people describe it as gray or slimy, which is not exactly appetizing. Some people have even reported feeling sick after eating the bologna. There are a few possible explanations for this phenomenon.

One theory is that the bologna is simply old or has been sitting on the shelf for too long. Another theory is that the bologna is made using lower-quality meat that hasn’t been handled properly. It’s also possible that the bologna is contaminated with bacteria or other harmful substances.

The Mystery Meat Meatball Madness

Another strange occurrence involving Eckrich bologna happened in 2018, when a woman claimed that she found a meatball in her bologna. According to the woman, she purchased a package of Eckrich bologna from a Walmart store in Texas and began to slice it at home. As she was slicing, she noticed something that looked like a meatball inside the bologna. She took a photo and posted it on Facebook, where it quickly went viral.

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The woman contacted Eckrich and was told that they would investigate the matter. However, the company never got back to her with an explanation. Some people speculate that the meatball was a piece of mechanically separated meat or some other kind of filler that got mixed in with the regular meat.

The Verdict on Eckrich Bologna

So, what’s the final verdict on Eckrich bologna? Well, it’s difficult to say. While there are certainly some concerns about the quality and safety of the meat, there are no concrete facts to back up some of the more sensational claims. However, if you’re concerned about the ingredients in your food, it’s always a good idea to do your research and read labels carefully.

What You Should Know About Luncheon Meats

If you’re a fan of lunch meat and bologna but want to avoid the Eckrich bologna blues, here are some tips to help you choose healthier and safer options.

Look for natural or organic options

Many brands offer natural or organic options that are free from preservatives, artificial colors, and other questionable ingredients. These products are often made with high-quality and ethically sourced meats and are a better choice for your health and the environment.

Read labels carefully

Labels can be tricky, and it’s important to read them carefully to avoid unwanted ingredients. Look for products that use simple and recognizable ingredients, and avoid those with long lists of preservatives, artificial colors, and chemical additives.

Avoid processed meats

Processed meats like hot dogs, bologna, and other lunch meats are often packed with preservatives and other questionable ingredients. If you must eat meat, opt for whole cuts of meat that are cooked and prepared at home.

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A Helpful Table of Lunch Meats

To help you choose the best lunch meats, we’ve put together a handy table. This table compares the ingredients in four popular brands of lunch meat, including Eckrich bologna.

Brand Ingredients Preservatives Artificial Colors Mechanically Separated Meat
Oscar Mayer Turkey, water, salt, sugar, brown sugar, sodium phosphate, … Yes Yes No
Hormel Pork, water, salt, sodium phosphate, sodium erythorbate, … Yes No No
Boar’s Head Beef, water, salt, contains less than 2% of dextrose, natural flavors, … No Yes No
Eckrich Beef, pork, water, corn syrup, dextrose, … Yes No Unknown


In conclusion, the Eckrich bologna blues may be a mystery, but there are still ways to make healthier and safer choices when it comes to lunch meat. By reading labels carefully and choosing natural and organic options, you can enjoy your favorite meats without worrying about the quality or safety of the ingredients. If you’re still unsure about a product, don’t be afraid to do some research and ask questions. Your health is worth it.


  1. “Eckrich – About Us,” Eckrich, accessed October 6, 2021,
  2. “Mechanically Separated Meat,” Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, FDA, accessed October 6, 2021,
  3. “The Great Bologna Panic of 2018,” VICE, February 2, 2018,
  4. “What You Need to Know About Processed Meats,” Healthline, July 17, 2017,