But what are the odds of that guy who was struck by lightning 3 times and living? Just because it doesn't happen every day, it still happens. That's like saying I don't need the polio shot because if everyone else gets it, no one can give it to me. If you can simply prevent it, why would you not? How to Prevent Botulism in Sausages?? "The answer lies in the use of Nitrates/nitrites. When present, they prevent the transformation of C. botulinum spores into toxins. It is almost like applying a vaccine to eliminate a disease. By curing meats with nitrites, we protect ourselves from possibly contracting a deadly disease. Nitrites are cheap, commonly available, and completely safe in amounts recommended by the Food and Drug Administration. So why not use them? All commercial plants do. Nitrites are needed only when smoking meats or making fermented sausages. You don’t need nitrites when barbecuing or grilling, as the temperatures are high enough to inhibit the development of botulinum spores into toxins."