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Anaerobic curing times


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When I am home curing pork, say to make guanciale, pancetta, or coppa, I typically put the meat, cure #1 or #2 depending, spices/herbs together then vacuum seal and keep at about 38F it until I'm ready to do whatever I plan next for it, such as air curing.

Rarely is it left in the bag for very long...the longest stretch has been 2 weeks.

It has always been successful for me.

 

This time I have a situation where I have several cures which have had to sit vacuum sealed for a very extended period--nearly 4 months.

I am confident the temperature was controlled under 40F the entire time.

 

Given the length of time in an anaerobic environment, my first instinct was to toss them out due to fears about botulism.

But the more I think about it, I'm questioning whether they might be ok--they are well coated what is effectively a wet cure of salt and sodium nitrate. 

Importantly, these only have #1.

 

My major concern is the potential for botulism.  Secondary concerns would be texture or salt content issues.

I have not yet opened the packages, but all visual indications are good--great color, good firmness, no visual mold, discoloration or other visual cues.

Obviously putrid odors would require that I trash them, but a lack of putrid odors doesn't rule out botulism toxin.

 

Thanks for any advice!

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