Cancer rates are increasing in the UK, and poor diet is thought to play a major role in triggering symptoms.
Sausages, one of the UK’s favourite types of red meat, have been previously singled out as particular risk, with the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2015 deeming them as bad for nation’s beloved bangers the all-clear.
Scientists at Queen’s University in Belfast said that harmful chemicals – which global health chiefs previously warned could lead to cancer – are no longer present in many pork sausages.
They revealed that those made in Britain are safe because they don’t contain nitrates and nitrites, potentially harmful chemicals used as a preservative.
But the researchers warned that Bratwurst-style sausages, traditionally from Germany, still contain the chemicals and may therefore still pose a risk.
Dr Marie Cantwell, a researcher, told The Sun: “It is now clear that the British sausage industry is very different.
“Almost all British-style sausages in the UK do not contain nitrates or nitrites.
“So they don’t carry the same health risk as other meats that use them in the curing process.”
Dr Cantwell said that many UK consumers won’t realise there is a difference between the health risks of different types of sausages.
“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,” she explained.
The researchers looked at types from 11 big UK stores.
Sausages given the all-clear by the team include those from Tesco Finest, Asda Extra Special, Rankin Selection and Heck.
Additionally, of the 117 brands they studied, 97 per cent of sausages contained no nitrates or nitrites.
The new findings contrast with previous advice from the WHO.
Their International Agency for Research on Cancer said processed meats, such as sausages, were as “carcinogenic” as alcohol, asbestos, arsenic and cigarettes.
Past research has also linked diets high in red meat to increased cancer risk, and the NHS warn of a link between red and processed meat and bowel cancer.
The Department of Health recommends eating no more than 70g of meat, such as chicken and beef, a day but add that it is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals.
Eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables can help ward off a number of deadly conditions, including cancer.