Bad News for Full English Breakfast Lovers: Sausage Cancer Threat Highlighted

Oct 26, 2015 03:58 PM EDT | By Denise Valerie Uychiat

Many of us know that asbestos, cigarettes and alcohol are carcinogenic. Naturally, we try to avoid them as much as we can. But what about if your favourite food is classed alongside these common cancer agents? It's a sad day for people in the UK, especially those who have come to expect sausage on their breakfast plates, as traditional English breakfasts consist of processed meat such as sausages and bacon. 

In a report published by the World Health Organization (WHO), processed meat such as bacon, ham, and sausages are expected to be classed as "carcinogenic to humans" which is the highest of five possible rankings and ranks alongside smoking as well. Next on the list to be investigated is fresh red meat, perceived to be bad for anyone's health. It's certainly a threat to the meat industry. 

The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has warned the public that there is "strong evidence" proving that eating too much red meat can cause bowel cancer. One reason they are looking at is the presence of Haem, an organic pigment that gives color to the meat, which is said to destroy the stomach lining.

According to WCRF, cancer-causing substances can form when meat is preserved using these methods: smoking, curing, salting or by adding preservatives. They also advised that people can lessen their risk of having bowel cancer by limiting their weekly consumption of beef, pork and lamb (red meat)  to 500 grams. They also said that people should control their intake of processed meats such as ham, bacon and salami.

However, it has been cleared that the report made about the danger of having bowel cancer from eating processed meat is not the same as the likelihood of the possibility of getting lung cancer from smoking.

Sarah Williams, of Cancer Research UK, told Sky News that the announcement from the World Health Organization (WHO) was made to make sure that the evidence is strong, and not to show the public gravity of the risk red and processed meat might have. The cancer research's opinion is certainly saying that eating red and process meat is not as unhealthy as smoking.

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