Last thing I'm sayin on this: If all the salt story is true, why do hams go bad when there not cured even in a brine solution? Because there ain't nothin gettin inta the middle a the meat quick enough ta stop it. That's why they've been pumped er injected.
Yall do what ya like, me, I'm usin cure when doin hams. Ain't runin the risk of a lawsuit cause somebody gets sick of a spoiled ham.
Also, if cure wasn't needed, packers an others wouldn't go ta the added expense a usin it. It makes a product safe. I can't think of a cleaner enviroment then a ham line in a packin house.
From a USDA site on hams:Wet Curing or Brine Cure
Brine curing is the most popular way of producing hams. It is a wet cure whereby fresh meat is injected with a curing solution before cooking. Brining ingredients can include ingredients such as salt, sugar, sodium nitrite, sodium nitrate, sodium erythorbate, sodium phosphate, potassium chloride, water and flavorings. Smoke flavoring (liquid smoke) may also be injected with brine solution. Cooking may
occur during this process.Foodborne Pathogens
These foodborne pathogens (organisms in food that can cause disease) are associated with ham:
- Trichinella spiralis (trichinae) - Parasites are sometimes present in hogs. All hams must be processed according to USDA guidelines to kill trichinae.
- Staphylococcus aureus (staph) - Bacteria are destroyed by cooking and processing but can be re-introduced via mishandling. The bacteria can then produce a toxin which is not destroyed by further cooking. Dry curing of hams may or may not destroy S. aureus, but the high salt content on the exterior inhibits these bacteria. When the ham is sliced, the moister interior will permit staphylococcal multiplication. Thus sliced dry-cured hams must be refrigerated.
- Mold - Can often be found on country cured ham. Most of these are harmless but some molds can produce mycotoxins. Molds grow on hams during the long curing and drying process because the high salt and low temperatures do not inhibit these robust organisms. DO NOT DISCARD the ham. Wash it with hot water and scrub off the mold with a stiff vegetable brush.