Carcinogenic Meats Like Bacon Served By 80% Of NHS Trusts

It's incredible that hospital patients are being offered cancer-causing bacon and other processed meats
Woman eating bacon sandwich
Nitrite-cured meats have well-known links with cancer (Photo: Adobe. Do not use without permission)

Meat cured with chemicals that have been blamed for causing certain types of cancer are on the hospital menus at more than four out of every five NHS trusts, according to new research in the news this week.

Meats such as nitrite-cured bacon and ham are being offered to hospital patients in 113 NHS English foundation trusts despite the well-known links with cancer.

Processed meat

In 2015, the World Health Organisation declared that processed meat (such as bacon, ham and sausages) causes cancer and red meat probably does too.  

The World Cancer Research Fund agrees and says this type of meat should be avoided: "Eating processed meats or having a diet high in red meat is a cause of bowel cancer."

fry up
Should processed meats like bacon and sausages be served in hospitals?

'Serious questions'

Labour’s former shadow environment secretary, Kerry McCarthy MP, described the figures as extraordinary: "Serious questions must be asked of these NHS foundation trusts. It cannot be acceptable for patients to be admitted to hospital, only to be fed cancer-causing meals while they are in there."

When interviewed by Viva! in 2015, Kerry McCarthy said:"“I really believe that meat should be treated in exactly the same way as tobacco with public campaigns to stop people eating it."

In the UK, our NHS is still something to be proud of but given the strong links between disease and poor diet, it's time for health authorities to prioritise good food, for both our health and the environment. Food and health are so intrinsically linked, hospital should be the one place you can expect to get healthy meal.

To find out how harmful meat is to health see Viva! Health's report Meat the Truth

Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of Plant Based News delivered to your inbox weekly.
PBN Academy launches with a selection of simple courses on health and wellness, how to rise a child vegan, reversing type-2 diabetes with diet and more. Join free today

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

Reuse this content
PBN Contributor:

Dr. Butler graduated from Bristol University with a PhD in molecular biology and a BSc First Class (hons) in Biochemistry from UWE before joining Viva! in 2005. She currently researches, writes and campaigns for Viva!Health.

(c) 2019 Plant Based News LTD. All Rights Reserved. Content must not be copied without permission.

Join the conversation

Since you're here...
Plant Based News is a FREE service that receives millions of views each week. This takes a lot of our personal time, money and hard work. But we do it because we KNOW it makes a difference. If those following our reporting helped by contributing, we could do even more. Please consider supporting us so we can create further awareness about animal rights, environmentalism, ethical consumerism and the plant-based lifestyle. Not a false narrative - but information that empowers people to make better choices.

It's World Vegan Day