French health authorities warns consumers
On July 14, French sausage and charcuterie makers shouldn’t rejoice. Anses, the country’s health authority, warned against eating ham, bacon, salami, and sausages. French cold snacks contain too much nitrates and nitrites. Colon cancer from sausages is an established fact
.They’re found in soil and water. The main sources of nitrate are lettuce, spinach, and water. Processed meat is tiny. More than half of ingested nitrites come from sausages. Preservatives can be identified as nitrite curing salt or food additive codes E249 (potassium nitrite), E250 (sodium nitrite), E251 (sodium nitrate), or E252 in the table of contents (potassium nitrate).
Anses studied various scholarly literature following a WHO report connected sausage to colon cancer. They’re from EFSA and CIRC. Anses states that “exposure to nitrites and/or nitrates” causes colon cancer. The authority suspects other cancer risks, but statistics do not allow causal conclusions.
Although over 98% of French people respect the limit levels, Anses says, nitrates and nitrites can convert in the body to cancer-causing nitrosamines. Food additives should be decreased.
Maximum 150 grams per week
Nitrates and nitrites in processed beef products reduce salmonella and listeria growth. Anses now suggests various bacteria-control methods.
The authority suggests shortening the use-by date for cooked ham to reduce nitrites. During curing, resting, and maturation of raw ham, salt and temperature must be strictly managed. Each product segment has its own preservative-reduction measures.
The authority proposes lowering nitrate pollution by optimizing agricultural fertilizer use or increasing drinking water quality. Anses will say more.
The health authorities has developed recommendations for French daily living. Charcuterie and sausages should be limited to 150 grams per week. For regular meat eaters, that’s 1.5 cervelats or a pack of ham every week. Anses recommends eating a balanced diet with at least five servings of fruit and vegetables daily.
Harvard study: risk of death increases
The findings are similar with a 2012 Harvard University study that found processed meat increases death risk. Over 26 years, 120,000 people’s diets were studied. 50 grams of red meat a day increases death risk by 13%, and sausages by 20%.
Meat increases death risk. Participants might substitute fish, lentils, or dairy items. According to a Harvard research, 17% of persons who ate meat died prematurely from heart disease or cancer.
The 2015 WHO analysis reviewed over 800 papers and found that 50 grams of processed beef daily raises colorectal cancer risk by 18%. The WHO categorized cancer-causing foods. Group 1 includes sausage, ham, bacon, dry meat, and canned meat.
WHO recommends eating meat and sausage in moderation, preferably unprocessed. Long ingredient lists or many preservatives, taste enhancers, and colorings should be questioned. This includes processed vegetarian products.