The National Center for Home Food Preservation
Guide and Literature Review Series:
Smoking and Curing


Curing and Smoking Meats for Home Food Preservation
Literature Review and Critical Preservation Points


Brian A. Nummer, Ph.D.
Elizabeth L. Andress, Ph.D.


National Center for Home Food Preservation
FACS Cooperative Extension Service
Elizabeth Andress Ph.D., Director
208 Hoke Smith Annex
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602
Phone: (706) 542-3773
Fax: (706) 542-1979

This material is based upon work supported by the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under Agreement No. 00-51110-9762.

Document Use:

Permission is granted to reproduce these materials in whole or in part for educational purposes only (not for profit beyond the cost of reproduction) provided the authors and the University of Georgia receive acknowledgment and this notice is included:

Reprinted with permission of the University of Georgia. B.A. Nummer and Andress, E.L. 2002. Curing and Smoking Meats for Home Food Preservation Literature Review and Critical Preservation Points. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia, Cooperative Extension Service.

Preface | Table of Contents | References

I. Preface

i. Purpose

The primary purpose of this literature review is to serve as a resource for federal and state cooperative extension service staff providing background scientific information on home curing and smoking for food preservation. Knowledgeable home food preservers will find information that will help them identify hazards that are associated with curing and smoking meats at home, and help them reduce risks of food poisoning associated with these processes. References cited throughout this review will aid the reader in locating additional information. This review does not specifically address safe practices for commercial or retail establishments. This literature review is not intended to provide directions for curing and smoking meats at home. Please see suggested publications on our How Do I?...Cure & Smoke page for that purpose.

ii. Background

Home food preservation remains an important and popular cultural activity. Concern has arisen over (1) the emergence of new foodborne diseases that challenge the safety of traditional food preservation methods and (2) the public's desire for variety and healthfulness that leads them to both non traditional foods and non traditional processes that may lack research into their safety.

iii. Status

This is the first edition of the Curing and Smoking Meats for Home Food Preservation Literature Review and Critical Preservation Points. The publication has been reviewed internally at the University of Georgia, externally, and by USDA reviewers as of the date on the publication.

iv. Scope and Limitations

This literature review provides information that is science-based and covers safety hazards associated with home cured and smoked meats only. It does not cover hazards associated with raw meats or cured/smoked non-meats. This publication is not intended for commercial entities, no matter how small the producer may be. All commercial food preservation must comply with applicable state and federal laws that are beyond the scope of this document.

References to commercials products, services, and information is made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the University of Georgia, U.S. Department of Agriculture and supporting organizations is implied. This information is provided for the educational information and convenience of the reader.

v. Critical Reviews

Staff at the National Center for Home Food Preservation reviewed this document: Judy Harrison, Ph.D., Mark Harrison, Ph.D., William Kerr, Ph.D. and Elaine D’Sa, Ph.D. Researchers at Pennsylvania State University graciously provided external reviews: Catherine Cutter, Ph.D., Stephanie Doores, Ph.D. and Edward Mills, Ph.D.

Preface | Table of Contents | References

This web page reviewed June 2015.