The content of nitrite and nitrate in cured meat products has been monitored in Denmark seven times between 1995 and 2006. The maximum permitted added amounts of sodium nitrite in Denmark (60 mg kg(-1) for most products up to 150 mg kg(-1) for special products) have not been exceeded, except for a few samples back in 2002. The intake, mean and intake distribution of sodium nitrite have been calculated from 1998 to 2006 with data from the Danish dietary survey conducted in 2000-02 on Danes from four to 75 years of age. The amounts used by industry have been relatively stable through the whole period with levels varying between 6 and 20 mg sodium nitrite kg(-1) with sausages, meat for open sandwiches and salami-type sausages being the greatest contributors. The mean intake of sodium nitrate was around 1 mg day(-1), which is very low compared with the total intake of 61 mg day(-1). The mean intake of sodium nitrite was 0.017 and 0.014, 0.009 and 0.008, and 0.007 and 0.003 mg kg(-1) body weight day(-1) for men and women in the age groups 4 5, 6 14 and 15 75 years, respectively, which was much lower than the acceptable daily intake (ADI) of 0.09 mg kg(-1) body weight day(-1). The 99th percentile for the group of 4-year-olds was 0.107 and 0.123mg kg(-1) body weight day(-1) for boys and girls, respectively, and the 95th percentile was 0.057 and 0.073 mg kg(-1) body weight day(-1) for boys and girls, respectively, highest for the girls. With fewer than 100 boys and girls in the 4-5-year age group, only very few persons were responsible for the high intake. The conversion of nitrate to nitrite in the saliva and the degradation of nitrite during production and storage must also be considered when evaluating the intake of nitrite.