Today I received a comment from Matt, one of the judges of the Charcutepalooza competition. It was a follow-up to yesterday’s post about my salami-making adventure, which I am reposting here:
I would highly suggest against drying salami at 75F. At that temp you run the risk of growing some really nasty bacteria inside the salami that you cannot see or taste. The nitrate will prevent botulism (hopefully) but there are other baddies that can grow, especially at the temps you are talking about.
The high temp for that long will also mean that your lactic acid bacteria will have made the salami maybe a bit more sour than expected.
I ate the sliced salami link seen here, and have suffered no ill effects, but the scientist in me tells me that anecdotal evidence is no substitute for proper food safety. Consequently, I am disposing of the remaining links, even though it kills me to have to do so. I’ll treat my recent effort as a practice run, and will wait a few months until the temperature in my basement drops below 65 °F.
Remember: When in doubt, throw it out.