Regulatory Pressure Hamstrings In-House Curing

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram reports on City regulatory enforcement that has ended in-house meat curing programs at Portland restaurants.

Chefs like curing their own meats because it makes their restaurants stand out and attracts customers who like an artisanal approach to food. But Portland chefs appear to have decided that curing food in-house is not worth the paperwork and potential regulatory tangles. No restaurants have plans on file with the city indicating they are using sodium nitrite, also known as “pink salt,” to cure meats such as ham, bacon, brisket or pork belly in-house, according to Michael Russell, director of Portland’s permitting and inspections department. Some have simply taken the meats off their menus, he said, while others “are finding it more convenient just to buy the product.”