C. Botulinum toxin is described as a soil-borne, mesophilic, spore-forming, anaerobic bacterium.† It is carried into the kitchen via raw foods, as well as our hands, clothing, among other places.† It produces spores, that are extremely durable.† While the bacterium is destroyed 212F, the spores are not destroyed so easily.† They require 240F for a sustained length of time.† Then of course there is the posion that is brought about by the spores.† The toxin is so strong that 1 tsp of the pure substance could kill 100s of thousands of people. Fortunately, the cases have dropped due to increased information, procedures, and decreased home usage since the 40's.
While nitrates do help prevent the creation of C. botulinum toxin, they can also mask food spoilage. Nitrates are converted into nitrites in our body by metabolism, either when we eat them or by their interaction with the protein of raw meat cured. The nitrites in turn help to make nitrosamines... and that has caused other controversy. So it's use is limited, and so is it's protection.
So now let's look at the USDA.† A USDA jerky company would only bring out minimal beef at any point in time.† If one fly or insect was seen, just one... everything, and I mean everything, had to be thrown out that was out on the floor, and that one insect had to be found, shown, and then removed, and everything scrubbed down before business could be re-introduced.† They too used nitrates, unlike me, and mine was approved for 12 months by the USDA.† You could have eaten off the floor... everything was being scrubbed down anyways with chlorine bleach type substance.†
Even my local state-approved Safeway store is constantly changing formulas for scrub down, because the bacteria builds up an immunity.† In our hospitals, we have MSRA issues due to increased immunity and the time will likely come where medicines will be superceeded because of it.†
800F for a pie is a great thing.† But I like to eat cured meats at room temp too and would not recommend disregard for sanitation.† Chlorine bleach wipes of all surfaces should always be used, as well as proper handling procedures before and after the moistness is reduced (unfortunately, bacteria can thrive even with lack of oxygen when combined with moistness).
Despite handling even by professionals, I don't always like the preservation ingredients.† I'll never forget Tyler Florence's expression when he learned that tomatoes were smoked as a measure to preserve them at an Italian Villa... I knew exactly what he was thinking.†