I just took the ServSafe test last week, and naturally they didn't get into this level of detail. So basically, I don't know and I'm curious to hear the answer too.
I found this sausage making page on Wikipedia
"All smoked sausages are cured. The reason for this is the threat of botulism
. The bacterium responsible, Clostridium botulinum
, is ubiquitous in the environment, grows in the anaerobic
conditions created in the smoke house
and thrives in the 40 °F to 140 °F (5 °C to 60 °C) temperature range. Thus, for safety reasons, the sausages are cured before smoking."
That said, there are commercially produced bacon made without nitrates / nitrites, like the stuff from Niman Ranch
. So I imagine Niman has some other way to control the potential for botulism. That might be an interesting angle to chase down.