Douglas L. Archer

Nitrite has been a component of mixtures used to cure meats for centuries. It is important for a variety of reasons in curing meats, the most important being the inhibition of the growth of, and toxin production by, Clostridium botulinum. It is not accidental that the species name derived from the Latin word for sausage, botulus. However, since the use of nitrite in cured meats became commonplace, there have been no cases of botulism linked to these products.

About 30 years ago, two charges about…

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