"No added Nitrite" labeling.. ."natural" cured meats could have 10 times as much nitrite as conven

Discussion in 'Food Safety' started by daveomak, Mar 25, 2016.

  1. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    The labels on some "natural" hot dogs and other cured meats brag about "no added nitrite." Be skeptical. While those products may not contain added sodium nitrite, they sometimes are made with celery powder or celery juice which are naturally high in nitrate. A bacterial culture is used to convert that to nitrite. Indeed in 2011 the New York Times revealed that the "natural" cured meats could have 10 times as much nitrite as conventional products. The bottom line: those products typically are high in salt and sometimes saturated fat, so they'd be worth eating only occasionally or avoiding entirely.

    At least when you cure your own meats, you know what you are getting....   especially if you use a grams scale, to weigh the stuff accurately.....
  2. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The wife bought me a "natural" summer sausage that was on 50% markdown at Kroger the other day.  Front label said no added nitrates or nitrites.  Of course if you read the fine print it states it did have nitrates from celery juice.  I got a good laugh out of it.  It was basically a regular summer sausage that normally cost more because it was "natural".

    Nitrate is nitrate, no matter the source.  Chemically it's all the same, just the process might be different.

    And like Dave said, I still prefer my SS as I know whats in it and can tweak the flavor to my preference (plus its fun to make your own).
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2016
  3. nimrod

    nimrod Meat Mopper


     Thanks for the info. I recently started making sausage to get away from all the MSG & additives but have been buying the "natural" hot dogs. Looks like I will need to learn how to make hot dogs next!


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