Curing salt – is used in meat processing to generate a pinkish shade and to extend shelf life. It is both a color agent and a means to facilitate food preservation as it prevents or slows spoilage by bacteria or fungus. Curing salts are generally a mixture of table salt and sodium nitrite and are used for pickling meats as part of the process to make sausage or cured meat such as ham, bacon, pastrami, corned beef, etc. The reason for using nitrite-curing salt is to inhibit the growth of bacteria, specifically Clostridium botulinum in an effort to prevent botulism.
Many curing salts also contain red dye that makes them pink to prevent them from being confused with common table salt. Thus curing salt is sometimes referred to as “pink salt”. Curing salts are not to be confused with Himalayan pink salt, which is halite with trace elements that give it a pink color.