EU slams Brit breakfast faves with toast link to cancer

EU Toast Flag

Published: Thursday 16th October 2014 by Paul Nickerson - Writer

Comments (5)

Toast and other foods are at the centre of new EU safety warning over some of Britain’s best loved grub.

A European Union health group has claimed some of Britain’s favourite foods like toast can cause cancer if over-cooked. Other favourites on the Euro hit list are roast potatoes, jackets and chips but cooked meat is not covered in the new warning.

The new advice centres around foods that are cooked at high temperatures, but includes starchy foods like crisps, savoury snacks, soft or crispy bread and cereals when over-cooked above 120C (250F). At that heat, starchy foods release the chemical acrylamide that The European Foods Standards Authority (EFSA) has linked to tumours in mice.

The warning comes amid efforts to raise awareness of the link between burnt food and increased risks of some cancers. An EFSA representative said: “We have published an infographic on our website about the risks of acrylamide and are giving people advice on how to cook so they limit their exposure”.

The campaign seems to have had some success with UK food manufacturers. Our own Food Standards Agency (The FSA) say that in recent tests only 17 products showed increased levels of the chemical. The FSA advise consumers not stop eating any of the foods on the EU list that are confirmed to contain acrylamide (including Tesco’s ready salted crisps), but to follow existing government advice on a healthy balanced diet to reduce any potential health risk.

As well as the infographic the EFSA has issued the following guidelines for cooking that will limit exposure to the chemical:

Don’t burn it – lightly brown it

Frying – Always follow the recommended times and temperatures to avoid excessive crisping and burning

Toast bread to a golden yellow rather than a deeper brown colour

Potato products, such as chips –  cook them golden yellow rather than brown

Fridge: Don’t store potatoes in the fridge as this increases sugar levels (potentially increasing acrylamide production during cooking). Keep them in a cool dark place

Whilst there is some science to back up the EU claim, it might not mean that Brits have to trade in their traditional two slices of buttered toast for something more continental like yogurt or grapefruit. UK cancer charity Cancer Research is reported to have said that ‘whilst studies show this chemical can cause cancer in mice, there is no good evidence of a link in humans’.

That EU Infograph


Published: Thursday 16th October 2014 by Paul Nickerson - Writer

Comments (5)
  • Lordelpus

    More unnecessary meddling by the EU!

  • Peter

    What a charming and polite woman you sound. With people like you around – there is no wonder that the English are regarded throughout Europe as the scum and sluts of the world. Yes I am English but ashamed of people like you.

    • Peter

      Your appreciation of Great Britain is admirable – such a shame you are not a GREAT speller. I would keep my writing private if I were you. No more arguments with you Susan – we are all entitled to our opinions. I wish you the best.

    • Peter

      Learn to write standard English before choosing to write for public consumption – your message makes no sense. But I will argue with you no more – I wish you well.

  • Kevin Marshall

    Toast anyone? 🙂

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