By the end of 2020, Dietz & Watson deli slicing meats —  including turkey, chicken breast, ham and roast beef —  will be uncured. The Philadelphia-based company will not use nitrates or nitrites in their curing process for these products.

“We will be removing nitrates and nitrates from many of our other products including franks, sausages and snacks and will be making announcements as we do” says Lauren Eni, vice president of brand strategy for the company and a 4th generation family member. “Our turkey and chicken breasts have always been uncured, so removing nitrates and nitrites from some of our other products is just another step towards giving consumers the most choice at the deli."

Dietz & Watson has long been a pioneer in better-for-you deli products. In the mid-1970s the company introduced its Gourmet Lite line, which featured lower sodium, low fat, low cholesterol turkey breast and deli ham and a no-salt-added turkey breast.

In addition, the company’s Originals line of Organic and No Antibiotics Ever deli meats and cheeses is nitrate and nitrite free.

“We are all about and have always been about responding to what consumers want and we pride ourselves on giving consumers the most choice at the deli" says Eni. “While there is very little evidence that nitrates are harmful, more and more consumers are choosing to eat meats that are not cured with nitrates, so we found a natural way to get that traditional color and flavor in cured meats without them.”