PHILADELPHIA – Dietz & Watson announced on Feb. 11 that by the end of 2020 deli slicing meats including turkey and chicken breast, ham and roast beef will be uncured. The company also will not use nitrates or nitrites in its curing process for these products.

“We will be removing nitrates and nitrites from many of our other products including franks, sausages and snacks and will be making announcements as we do.” said Lauren Eni, vice president of brand strategy for Dietz & Watson. “Our turkey and chicken breasts have always been uncured, so removing nitrates and nitrites from some of our other products is just another step towards giving consumers the most choice at the deli.”

According to the company, nitrates are found in small amounts in processed meats and larger amounts in foods like vegetables, and drinking water. Nitrates and nitrites are frequently added to processed meats like bacon, ham, sausages and hot dogs.

“We are all about and have always been about responding to what consumers want and we pride ourselves on giving consumers the most choice at the deli," Eni said. “While there is very little evidence that nitrates are harmful, more and more consumers are choosing to eat meats that are not cured with nitrates, so we found a natural way to get that traditional color and flavor in cured meats without them.”

Dietz & Watson also touted its Originals line of organic and No Antibiotics Ever deli meats and cheeses, which are already nitrate and nitrite free.