Waitrose is giving its entire own-label fresh bacon and gammon ranges an industry-leading upgrade next week, when it introduces lower levels of nitrite – without compromising on taste or quality. 

The supermarket will be the first to reduce the preservative across its entire own-brand fresh bacon and gammon range – from its essential Waitrose range through to its premium No. 1 range*. Examples include nitrite being reduced by 60% in essential Waitrose bacon and gammon, and by 10% in its dry cure bacon and gammon in all other ranges**. The updated products will start appearing on shelves from Monday (29 June).

The move comes in response to growing public awareness surrounding nitrites after a World Health Organisation (WHO) report recommended limiting these in the diet.

Nitrites are a preservative, responsible for producing bacon and gammon’s characteristic flavour, texture, taste and colour, but removing it completely would mean it’s simply defined as salty pork.

Amy Trobridge, Pork Buyer at Waitrose & Partners, 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 has seen a 44% surge in bacon sales in the last three months, as data from Kantar shows that the number of cooked breakfasts served in UK households has almost doubled during lockdown, with an estimated 20 million eaten during the four weeks to 19 April.

All Waitrose pork is sourced from British farms, reared by dedicated farmers. All its pigs are reared outdoors and none of its pig farms use slatted floors or confinement stalls.

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