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Curing salts are used in food preservation to prevent or slow
spoilage by bacteria or fungus. Generally they are used for pickling meats
as part of the process to make sausage or cured meat. Curing salts are
generally a mixture of table salt and sodium nitrite, which serves to
inhibit the growth of bacteria, specifically Clostridium botulinum in an
effort to prevent botulism, and helps preserve the color of cured meat.
Many also contain red dye that makes them pink to prevent them from being
confused with common table salt. Curing salts are not to be confused
with Himalayan pink salt, which is pure salt with trace elements that give
it a pink color.