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Journal of Food Quality
Volume 2017, Article ID 9753894, 25 pages
Review Article

Health and Safety Considerations of Fermented Sausages

1Nofima AS, Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research, P.O. Box 210, 1431 Ås, Norway
2Nofima AS, Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research, P.O. Box 8034, 4068 Stavanger, Norway

Correspondence should be addressed to Askild Holck; on.amifon@kcloh.dliksa

Received 2 March 2017; Accepted 20 April 2017; Published 28 May 2017

Academic Editor: Marta Laranjo

Copyright © 2017 Askild Holck et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Fermented sausages are highly treasured traditional foods. A large number of distinct sausages with different properties are produced using widely different recipes and manufacturing processes. Over the last years, eating fermented sausages has been associated with potential health hazards due to their high contents of saturated fats, high NaCl content, presence of nitrite and its degradation products such as nitrosamines, and use of smoking which can lead to formation of toxic compounds such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Here we review the recent literature regarding possible health effects of the ingredients used in fermented sausages. We also go through attempts to improve the sausages by lowering the content of saturated fats by replacing them with unsaturated fats, reducing the NaCl concentration by partly replacing it with KCl, and the use of selected starter cultures with desirable properties. In addition, we review the food pathogenic microorganisms relevant for fermented sausages (Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica, Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, Clostridium botulinum, and Toxoplasma gondii) and processing and postprocessing strategies to inhibit their growth and reduce their presence in the products.