Does Fresh Sausage Have Nitrates? – All You Need to Know

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When you buy fresh sausage, something might bother your mind for a while, and that is does fresh sausage have nitrates?

More importantly, does fresh homemade sausage have nitrates? 

Fresh sausages like Italian sausage don’t have Nitrates. Because they are made of fresh meat and natural salt. It does not contain curing salt. Curing salt is an ingredient that has nitrates (Sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate) that can be harmful to your body.

Keep reading the article for a better understanding of fresh sausage.

Nitrate and nitrite content of meat products

Meat Products

Nitrate Concentration/kg

Nitrite Concentration/kg

Dry Fermented Sausage

87.0 mg

42.8 mg


102.4 mg

87.6 mg


147.4 mg

102.8 mg

Source: YALÇIN S, YALÇIN SS. Nitrate and nitrite content of meat products. Archives of Disease in Childhood 1998;79:198.

What Are Nitrates and Why Are They Used in Meat?

What Are Nitrates and Why Are They Used in Meat

Several people are concerned about nitrites and nitrates in fresh sausages – food preservatives that are used in sausages and smoked meat.

These preservatives are extremely effective at inhibiting the growth of bacteria, particularly Clostridium botulinum. It gives your goods a particular flavor and a pink color.

If you look closely while shopping, you can notice if a product is labeled nitrite or nitrate-free. Nitrates are commonly used to preserve foods such as sausages and hot dogs.

So, does nitrate exist in fresh sausage? What are they used for, and why are they utilized to preserve meat? Let’s explore together.

What is Nitrate?

What is Nitrate

Nitrates are naturally occurring chemical substances found in the air, soil, and water.

They’re salts employed as preservatives in the food business to prevent the formation of hazardous bacteria and keep meat from rotting too soon.

Processed meats, such as ham or bacon, deli cuts, hot dogs, and sausages are frequently laced with nitrates.

All of these have a reddish tint to them due to the addition of nitrates. Nitrates contribute to the saltiness of this type of meat as well.

Are Nitrates Bad For You?

Are Nitrates Bad For You

Some vegetables, such as beets, spinach, celery, and carrots, have a high nitrate content by nature. Nitrates are obtained from the soil.

Beets, for example, have been demonstrated to decrease blood pressure and increase athletic performance.

Nitrates are also a popular element in treatments for angina (a cardiac ailment in which blood supply to the heart is severely reduced). Nitrates aid in the dilation of blood vessels and the improvement of blood flow to the heart.

When it comes to processed meat, it has been proven that consuming significant amounts of processed meat might cause cancer (specifically stomach and intestinal cancer).

It’s a chemical called nitrosamines, not nitrates, that cause cancer in processed meat. Nitrosamines can occur when nitrates are exposed to an acidic environment, such as the stomach, and they have access to a protein source (which processed meats have in plenty).

When nitrates are cooked at high temperatures, nitrosamines can develop. For example, when you fried bacon.

It’s worth noting that a few other factors contribute to processed meats’ cancer-causing effects. It’s not simply the nitrates that are at blame.

Overall, it’s not the nitrates themselves that are dangerous for you; how you eat them can cause problems.

Does Fresh Sausage Have Nitrates?

does fresh sausage have nitrates

Because fresh sausages (such as Italian sausage) are made with fresh meat and natural salt, they do not contain nitrates (and not curing salt).

However, if you want to make dry-cured sausages, you’ll need to add curing salt, which contains sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate. Click here to learn more about the differences between fresh and cured sausage.

In the food sector, preservatives such as nitrates are used to extend the shelf life of processed meats. It makes sense for mass-producing things and saving money.

However, if you wish to consume fresh sausages, no preservatives are required. You may also freeze large batches of sausages for later use if you wish to make them ahead of time.

It is a fantastic, risk-free alternative.

Cold smoking is the most common method of curing sausages. They can be cold smoked because they include a cure that protects them from bacterial infection. Smoking sausage that hasn’t been cured is still possible.

Why You Need Sausage In Your Diet

Why You Need Sausage In Your Diet

Apart from the business benefits of creating sausages, there are numerous health advantages to eating these meals.

Protein is essential regardless of whether you want to lose weight or gain muscle. Take a look at the following reasons:

1. You Will Seem To Be In Good Health

Fresh Sausages are known for making your skin look as healthy as a newborn baby. What about the eyes and hair? They’ll appear to be great. Fresh Sausages contain around half of your body’s recommended daily allowance of niacin. Your body requires this substance for you to appear stunning.

2. Rich In Protein

Pork sausage is traditionally high in protein, averaging 11 grams per stick.

Our bodies require protein to generate and maintain lean muscle mass and improve tissue health. That is precisely why you need protein!

3. Removes A Hangover

After a long night of drinking or partying, it’s usually a good idea to have breakfast on time. Sausages are high in phosphorus, which helps to keep the kidneys in good working order.

More importantly, the chemical is required to develop strong teeth and bones.

4. It Protects You From Diseases

If you use pork-made sausages, you’ll get a lot of selenium, a nutrient that helps your immune system. Furthermore, it promotes thyroid function and protects your heart from damage.

As a result, supplementing your diet with selenium-rich foods is recommended; this activity will help you retain excellent health.

5. Your Blood Will Be Retained In Great Condition

Another nutrient obtained through sausage consumption is a vitamin. Apart from vitamin B-12, iron is a crucial component in maintaining the health of your red blood cells.

These ingredients are also beneficial in increasing the formation of hemoglobin.

Vitamin B-12 is also helpful in the metabolization of protein and lipids.

You can make your fresh sausages at home without having the tension that your sausage will contain Nitrates or not. Check out the ingredients below:

Ingredients to make Sausage at home


Sausage Stuffer/Grinder










Different kinds of seasoning (According to your preference)





Does Italian Sausage Contain Nitrates?

Does Italian Sausage Contain Nitrates

Let’s define Italian sausage first before we answer the question.

According to the USDA, Italian sausage products are cured or uncured sausages that contain at least 85 percent meat.

Fennel is usually added to them, giving them a distinct flavor. You can also find onions, garlic, corn syrup, and other components in these items.

According to the USDA classification, Italian sausage products can be both cured and uncured. It is cured by adding salt, nitrates/nitrites, or sugar to preserve meat.

However, because most Italian sausage is fresh, I’ll concentrate on the uncured variety.

Nitrates are not added to Italian sausage because it is made fresh. However, just because a product is labeled as “uncured” doesn’t mean it’s free of nitrates. It simply indicates that there was no use of nitrate-based chemical preservatives.

Celery powder or juice, for example, can be added to the meat. It’s a nitrate-containing natural preservative. It demonstrates that you may cure even uncured meat. The sole variation is the source of the curing agent.

Although nitrates are commonly associated with meat, we really obtain around 80% of them from veggies. Vegetables obtain nitrates from the soil they grow in because they are naturally found in mineral deposits. As a result, various vegetables are put into the meat.

When people inquire about nitrates in Italian sausage, they usually mean chemical preservatives. The answer is no since the sausage is not cured. It may include nitrates, but only those from natural sources.

Cured Italian sausage products may contain chemical nitrates. However, this isn’t always the case.

The term “fresh” in Italian sausage refers to the fact that it has not been cured. Italian sausage must be prepared before eating because it is fresh. As a result, there is no need to preserve it with various additions.

Some Tips To Determine If Your Sausage Has Nitrate Or Not

Some Tips To Determine If Your Sausage Has Nitrate Or Not

Here are some simple steps to see if the meat you’re about to buy contains nitrate:

  • Check the label for words like “no nitrates,” “no nitrates added,” or “nitrate-free.”
  • Begin by looking through the nutrition label. It will determine whether your meat contains sodium nitrite or sodium nitrate. Furthermore, the label will include potassium nitrite or nitrate, indicating that the item you intend to buy contains nitrates.
  • If the product is labeled “organic,” it does not include nitrates. Preservatives such as synthetic nitrites or nitrates will not be present in these foods.

It’s important to note that the guidelines above apply to synthetic nitrates and nitrites, not naturally occurring nitrates and nitrites. According to the label, if synthetic nitrates/nitrites were employed, the product might still be maintained with natural nitrates/nitrites.

Uncured meat, for example, does not include synthetic nitrites but can be preserved using natural Nitrites found in celery. Uncured meat with natural nitrites from celery is currently less dangerous than cured meat containing synthetic Nitrites.


  • Do Butchers Sausages Contain Nitrates?

Most mass-produced meats are usually preserved with preservatives. In that way, Butcher’s sausage may or may not contain Nitrates.

  • Is Fresh Sausage Processed Meat?

The Meat products to which preservatives are added are known as processed meat. So, yes, sausages are called Processed meat too.

  • What Sausages Do Not Contain Nitrates?

Fresh Sausages don’t contain Nitrates. Because you’re making it from fresh meat and regular salt. However, if there was curing salt added while making it, it will contain Nitrates.

  • Does Fresh Meat Contain Nitrates?

No, Fresh meat doesn’t contain Nitrates. Nitrates are found naturally in vegetables as they grow on the soil. However, if you process the meat with curing salt, your meat will contain Nitrates.

Take Away

Hopefully – now, you know what nitrates are, why they’re used in meat, and, most importantly, does fresh sausage have nitrates?

This is why I strongly advise everyone to make their sausages because, if you love them as much as I do, you can still enjoy them without the health hazards that come with store-bought, processed sausages!

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