Pink salt #2 at what point is it dangerous

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Cibo
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Pink salt #2 at what point is it dangerous

Post by Cibo » Wed Mar 08, 2017 03:18

I was making dry sausage with a friend and he was mixing the pink salt #2 and when I checked his numbers he was about 1/3 higher than it should be. He did not think it was a big deal I am not sure if it is safe to eat at what point would it be dangerous to consume?

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Butterbean
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Post by Butterbean » Wed Mar 08, 2017 05:35

It takes about 4.6 grams of pure sodium nitrite to kill a person. Cure 2 is made up of 6.25% sodium nitrite and 4% sodium nitrate and about 89.75% plain salt. In your situation he was using a third more than the 0.25% rate so that would be 0.325% per kilo or 3.25 grams of cure 2 which would equate to 0.2 grams of sodium nitrite per kilogram of meat. So if you made 23 kilograms of sausage at this rate and ate it all you would might die but again the nitrite reacts quickly with meat and changes into other chemicals so you'd most likely have to eat twice this amount or 46 kilograms of sausage in one sitting for it to kill you but I think your stomach would burst first.

I'd say your friend is right. Now if he was working with pure sodium nitrite this would be a dangerous scenario but this is why only a few use pure nitrite because it is not forgiving like the curing salts normally used. The amount of sodium nitrite in the curing salt we use is so diluted with salt that before you could ever add a dangerous dose to the mince the mince would be so salty I don't think you could eat it because it would be so salty. I think it works out where you'd have to use only curing salt in your mix AND you'd have to add four times what is normally used when making sausage to reach that lethal dose and then you'd still have to eat a whole kilo. Not gonna happen.
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Butterbean
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Post by Butterbean » Wed Mar 08, 2017 15:19

I have an old curing book somewhere that would freak you out when you saw the recommendations on how to use the cure and the amounts they used. Next time I find this I'll post some pictures of some of the recipes and procedures. Pretty interesting.
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Post by Cibo » Wed Mar 08, 2017 16:15

The exact number are 53 lbs of meet and 94grams of pink salt if I understand I would have to eat all of the sausage at one time for any problems if to much was put in
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Bob K
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Post by Bob K » Wed Mar 08, 2017 17:08

Butterbean was talking how much to be fatal. While 224 ppm is well above the recommended amounts for a comminuted sausage, by the time it is aged and dried the amounts will be much lower. But may or may not cause other health issues .

On the other hand, that much is not needed either for safety, color or flavor. So why push the envelope on the recommended amounts.
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Post by Cibo » Thu Mar 09, 2017 01:48

Was not about pushing any envelops it was more like it was late I was working on the meat my friend was getting the ingredients together and I think there was a miss calculation is that amount that I posted earlier an in safe level
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Post by Butterbean » Thu Mar 09, 2017 04:36

There are some concerns that nitrite can morph into a carcinogen when heated at high heat. I'm sure this is possible just like they say it is dangerous to cook over charcoal but I am in the camp that believes anything is possible but I don't think its probable. I think there is way to much fear mongering when it comes to the use of curing salt. True, they should be treated with respect and used sparingly but like Bob says, you don't NEED that much to accomplish what you are using the cure to do so its best to just follow the guidelines but IMO a small error like that isn't going to amount to a hill of beans in the real world. JMO
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Post by Butterbean » Thu Mar 09, 2017 04:58

Here is a picture of a page from an old sausage making manual I have. I cannot find a date on the manual so I don't know how old it is but they do have telephone number listed so its not ancient. In this manual they did some things I think we would stroke over today but it wasn't till recently did we even really understand what was going with the cures.

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redzed
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Post by redzed » Thu Mar 09, 2017 07:56

Cibo, it all depends. What type of sausage were you making, did you ferment and which #2 did you use? Some formulations have only 1% nitrate, others 4%. If you used a starter culture, the micrococci bacteria will quickly reduce the nitrates to nitrite, which will eventually break down into nitric oxide. By the time they are consumed, most products will contain between 10 and 20% of the ingoing nitrites/nitrates.

But in looking at your numbers, 244ppm of ingoing nitrite and 180ppm (at the very most) of nitrate, is only a cause for small concern not alarm. As long you are making a long term dry cured sausage, that is it will be maturing for more than a month at temperature above 8C, you will be fine.
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Post by Sleebus » Wed Mar 15, 2017 14:49

Butterbean wrote:Here is a picture of a page from an old sausage making manual I have.
Just for giggles, I calced out the nitrate in the above recipe. For 3# meat, 1/4 tsp saltpetre weighs 0.0057 lbs, and running that through the PPM formula results in 1900 PPM nitrate, which is over the USDA limit of 1718 for comminuted products by about 10%. The real problem comes in if someone isn't using an exactly level 1/4 tsp...
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