How is it that prociutto and sopressata is hung in the danger zone for months, even years, and not be dangerous with nitrite/nitrate free cure?
We do our own prociutto and have never had an issue, but the more I know about food safety, it seems we are taking a (small?) risk. In fact, one year we boned the hams prior to cure to avoid dealing with the bone when post cure. That was a big risk, and I didn't even know it.
For prociutto, I guess I can understand that if you don't bone out the ham, you have a solid muscle which could only have spores on the outside, and the oxidized and molded outside is completely cut away post cure, and then post cure, we refridgerate or freeze. So that seems pretty low risk to me.
But sopressata and other sausages? That's ground meat. Now those spores are distributed throughout. I don't think I will ever eat that stuff again unless it was cured with nitrate/nitrite.