FAQs

Q: Where are Columbus products made?
A: All our products are proudly made in the United States. We have stayed true to our San Franciscan roots by keeping our state-of- the-art salami manufacturing facility in the Bay Area. We also make our deli meats in facilities around the country that meet our strict standards for food safety and craftsmanship.
Q: How do you peel salami?

A: Most of our salami is available in pre-sliced or pre-peeled form. For the Salami that still has its casing, please read the label and look for “Peel & Enjoy” as an indicator to remove the casing before eating – this is how we recommend you do that: first, soak the salame in a wet paper towel for 10 minutes. This re-hydrates the casing and makes it easier to remove. After soaking, follow these step by step instructions:

  1. Unwrap the wet paper towel from the salame. Using a fine-edged knife (not serrated), slice off one end. Starting in the middle, score towards the sliced-off end.
  2. With the fine-edged knife, lift the corner casing from the salame. Once the casing has been pulled slowly peel it back by hand. Peel it back only as much as you need for that serving.
  3. Once peeled, continue slicing the salame from the cut end, preferably at a slight angle. Finally, keep in mind that our salame is best enjoyed at room temperature.
Q: What is charcuterie?
A: Pronounced “shar-koo- ter-ee,” this French word means “flesh” and “cooked” and is used to describe a collection of cold cooked/cured meats.
Q: How do you make your salami?
A: Salami is both an art and a science. All our salami is made with the very specific cuts of the highest-quality 100% pork. We use 80% lean meat and 20% fat. We grind or chop the meat and add in wine, our unique spice blends and a starter culture (like what you have in yogurt), which helps the fermentation process. Our craftsmen and women mix it all together and create a sausage by putting the meat into a casing. We then hang the salami to age anywhere from 21 – 90 days depending on the flavor and size of the salame.
Q: Why does your salami contain milk?
A: Non-fat dry milk is added to some of our salami to help the fermentation process and improve drying. This also imparts a mellower flavor that our consumers really enjoy. If you’re looking to avoid dairy products, please be sure to check the ingredients label to select one of our delicious salamis that do not contain milk products.
Q: What meat do you use in your products? Where do you get your meat from?
A: All of the high-quality meats we use at Columbus are supplied from USDA inspected farmers who guarantee the product is in full compliance with all applicable governmental regulations and standards. In addition, all of our suppliers must pass our rigorous third-party audit process and be approved by our Quality Assurance team. We are very proud of the farms & ingredient suppliers we partner with and the stringent requirements we have for producing our premium craft meats.
Q: Do your products contain nitrites / nitrates? What are they?
A: Nitrates/Nitrites are salts that have traditionally been used to cure meats, developing that rich taste and deep red color you love. They also inhibit the growth of Botulism-causing bacteria and Listeria.

There’s conflicting research in the medical community about whether nitrites in large amounts are harmful or beneficial to you, and because of confusion that has been created, deli meats have received a bad rap. But they’re not the only foods that have nitrates/nitrites. For example, there are far more nitrates in a serving of many leafy-green vegetables—spinach, arugula, cabbage—than in any of our products. We believe nitrites are essential in assuring that our meats are the safest, highest-quality products on the market. That said, in our efforts to simplify our ingredient labels, we’re working to replace our current nitrates/nitrites with natural sources of nitrites—without compromising taste.
Q: Are your products Organic? Non-GMO? Antibiotic Free?
A: Making sure we use only the highest quality meat available is a priority for us. We’re working hard to expand our portfolio of products made with meat that’s never been treated with antibiotics. Stay tuned for more news on this over the coming months.
Q: Gluten Free? No MSG?
A: All of our products are free of artificial colors and flavors, and all have 0g of trans fat per serving. Except for our honey mustard spread, all COLUMBUS® products are gluten free.
Q: What allergens are in your products?
A: Some of our products contain milk or soy – please read the ingredient statement carefully if you need to avoid these ingredients.
Q: Where can I find your nutritional information?
A: We designed our website so you can easily look at our products by flavor type and dig in a little deeper to discover nutritional facts and ingredients. Be sure to read the nutritional and ingredient statements that are on our products. If you have any questions, please email us at questions@columco.com or call us at 855-566-2800
Q: What is the best way to store and handle your deli meat? Can they be frozen?
A: Deli meat should always be stored in refrigerated temperatures and covered/enclosed. We do not recommend freezing our products as it may affect the quality—such as taste and texture—of our finely crafted meats.
Q: Is the mold on my salami normal? Is it meant to be slimy?
A: White mold (also called fiore—pronounced fee-or- ay), is a normal and required part of our salami-making process. It helps to regulate moisture during the drying process, ensuring the superior taste and texture or our salami. Some mold (the black and brown kind) is an indication that your product is not going to taste as good anymore—and If you notice slime, please throw the product away.
Q: Is your packaging recyclable?
A: Currently our plastic trays are not recyclable but sustainability is a part of our journey. Our research and development teams are working hard to source a cost effective and efficient recyclable material for the future.