Thread: Nitrates
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Old 07-01-2008, 12:13 AM   #5
Professor Salt
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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 which says,

"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.
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