Waitrose cuts nitrites in bacon


By James Ridler, Food Manufacture (UK)



Upmarket retailer Waitrose has reduced the levels of nitrite in its own-label fresh bacon and gammon ranges.


The changes have been made across both its premium and budget ranges, starting today (29 June), with the preservative reduced by 60% in essential Waitrose bacon and gammon.


All other products – including its dry-cure bacon and gammon, which had their nitrite level reduced prior to this new push by the retailer – have seen nitrite levels fall by 10%.


No cost to the consumer ​


Commenting on the move to limit nitrates in its products, Waitrose pork buyer Amy Trobridge said: “We know many of our customers love a bacon sandwich or the occasional full English. This change means that they can enjoy great-tasting, high-welfare bacon with reduced nitrite levels. Our updated range doesn’t come at any additional cost to our customers either.”​


Waitrose’s decision to reduce the level of nitrite in its pork products followed growing public awareness surrounding the ingredient.


Concerns over the inclusion of the carcinogen in bacon and gammon has led to a number of innovations across the industry, including a nitrite-free range launched by pork processor Finnebrogue in 2018.​​


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