There are 8 known pathogens that cause the majority of illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths related to food poisoning or foodborne illnesses and botulism is NOT one of them. They include: Norovirus, Salmonella, Clostridium perforingens (nicknamed the “cafeteria germ”), Campylobacter spp, Staphylococcus aureus, Toxoplasma gondii, and Listeria monocytogenes.
•Approximately one in six Americans (48 million people) is sickened by foodborne illnesses every year.
•Roughly 128,000 people are hospitalized annually for foodborne illnesses.
•The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that more than 3,000 people would die due to food poisoning or foodborne illnesses in 2011.
Altogether there are 31 known pathogens that cause food poisoning, of which botulism is one. There are also many unknown pathogens.
Having been a biochemist/microbiologist and professionally trained in food preparation, I lean towards taking every precaution in food prep. Besides, I like the way my sausage tastes and would not change anything. I'm 63yo and have been making my own sausage for 40 years. I have not had any problems with adding nitrates/nitrites to food. Heck, I even eat MSG! The same people who would tell you nitrates/nitrites are no good are the same people who told you margarine was better than butter!
BTW I use butter in my deep dish pizzas!