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The French Executive has announced that it will launch a “coordinated action plan to achieve the reduction or elimination of the use of nitro additives in all food products”. The Government has recalled, however, that “the use of nitrites and nitrates is authorized by European regulations, which provides for maximum incorporation rates of 150 mg per kilo”, and France is below that threshold.
The French Food Safety Agency (ANSES) has issued a report recommending reducing exposure to nitrites and nitrates. Much of the nitrates are consumed through “vegetable products, such as leafy products such as spinach or lettuce; a quarter comes from water and only 4% comes from the use of additives in processed meats. As for nitrites, more than half, come from charcuterie”.
However, the report recalls that “the French (99% adults and children) do not exceed the daily exposure doses for nitrates and nitrites,” according to Agrodigital.
The addition of nitrates and nitrites to sausages is intended to limit the growth of bacteria that cause diseases such as salmonellosis, listeriosis and botulism.