Experts have give sausages the all-clear following a cancer warning.
World health chiefs had warned bangers could contain harmful chemicals which could caused cancer .
But scientists have now found British sausages were almost all free of the risky chemicals – with one exception.
Bratwurst-type sausages, which are popular at festive markets, could still pose a risk as they contact nitrates as preservatives.
Research chief Dr Marie Cantwell said British sausages don’t contain nitrates, which means they don’t have the same health risks as other meats when they are cured.
She told The Sun : “It’s likely that this isn’t clearly understood by consumers. This is due to misleading warnings on risks of processed meat, without clarifying the stark difference between those with added nitrates or nitrites and those without.”
Experts studied sausages from 11 major stores to come up with the findings.
Sausages given the all-clear included bangers from Tesco Finest, Asda Extra Special, Heck and Rankin selection.
And the scientists, based at Queen’s University in Belfast, found 97% of 117 brands contained no nitrates or nitrites.
The World Health Organisation claimed in 2015 that sausages could be as bad for you as cigarettes.
The classifications, by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, are believed to regard processed meat as “carcinogenic to humans”, the highest of five possible rankings, shared with alcohol, asbestos, arsenic and cigarettes.
The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has warned for several years that there is “strong evidence” that consuming a lot of red meat can cause bowel cancer.
(Image: Birmingham Mail)
It also says there is “strong evidence” that processed meats – even in smaller quantities – increase cancer risk.
One possible reason is that the compound that gives red meat its colour, haem, may damage the lining of the bowel.
In addition, when meat is preserved by smoking, curing or salting, or by adding preservatives, cancer-causing substances (carcinogens) can be formed.
Studies also show that people who eat a lot of red meat tend to eat fewer plant-based foods that protect against cancer.