Sodium nitrite is a food additive that changes the color of the food it is added to and also prevents the growth of certain bacteria. Side effects of this additive include migraines, and a possible link to colon cancer. It is also linked to possible lung disease when ingested in large quantities of processed meats.
- Pregnant women and children should not consume large quantities of this additive.
- Canned chicken and tuna do not contain sodium nitrite.
- Easily confused with sodium nitrate which is used in fertilizers, pyrotechnics, as a food preservative, as a solid rocket propellant, and in glass and pottery enamels.