It may not have occurred to you that when you give your dog a chew treat, you may well be giving the pooch a product that may well be made out of bull penis. You may also be unaware that bull penis, as a meat product, has a name that—seemingly mercifully—is not “bull penis,” but which is “pizzle,” perhaps the only word gross enough for the thing that it describes. 

But all of this is presumably less gross than the fact that a North Austin supermarket allegedly put pizzle—which is meant to be labeled as inedible beef not fit for human consumption—on the shelves for unsuspecting customers. As KXAN reports, MT Supermarket deliberately altered the labels:

MT Supermarket and some of its employees are facing a civil suit that alleges they improperly labeled and sold pizzle, or beef penis, for human consumption.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office filed the suit that names the North Lamar location of MT Supermarket where employees sold “non-inspected, adulterated and misbranded beef pizzle as human food.”

The suit alleges a manager and employees at the supermarket took the pizzle from boxes “labeled inedible beef, not intended for use as human food and repackaged the pizzle in consumer size packages, then labeled the pizzle as human food.”

The suit goes on to say the defendants labeled the packages to indicate the pizzle was inspected and from a registered source.

It is unclear at the moment exactly how the pizzle was labeled and sold (Ground beef? Hot dogs? Perky jerky?), and it’s possible that the people who did the purchasing were very specifically seeking out a source of beef penis to eat themselves, as it’s occasionally consumed by humans who believe that it has aphrodisiac properties (as well as low cholesterol and high protein, if this line in a MyFoxAustin report is not a weird joke). Regardless of whether or not the people involved in the purchase of pizzle knew what they were buying, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott believes that selling beef penis that has not been inspected by the FDA to humans is one area where federal regulation is warranted. We’d now like to strongly encourage you not to have the word “pizzle” stuck in your head for the rest of the day. 

(image via Flickr, not of MT Supermarket)