My passion is to bring the best tasting bacon to the world. To do this I would like to clear up a myth that I see large corporation taking advantage of honest people. It is against federal law for bacon, that cross state line, to be cured with out nitrites. Bacon that is produced and sold within a state falls under state laws, not federal USDA laws. Below is an excerpt from USDA publication 7620-3 page 12.
As a matter of policy, the Agency requires a minimum of 120 ppm of ingoing nitrite in all cured “Keep Refrigerated” products, unless the establishment can demonstrate that safety is assured by some other preservation process, such as thermal processing, pH or moisture control. This 120ppm policy for ingoing nitrite is based on safety data reviewed when the bacon standard was developed.
If you have insomnia click on this link and read the USDA regulations for a few minutes. You will be out in no time.
The USDA celery juice to be used as a nitrite source because of it’s high level of nitrites. All green plants have nitrites. All those cured products labeled “No Nitrites Add” use celery in the curing process. Because they don’t add nitrites directly they can legally claim “No Nitrites Add.”
Now that you are mad it’s time to be a little worried if you are concerned about nitrites. In the publication mentioned above there is a maximum level of nitrites aloud when you use sodium or potassium nitrites. These is no maximum level specified when celery is used. Some independent tests have shown bacon cured using celery has significant more nitrites than traditional cure bacon.