New reseach has shown that eating one sausage a day can raise the risk of bowel cancer by a fifth.
The research conducted by the World Cancer Research Fund shows that eating 1.8oz (50g) of processed meat a day – the equivalent of one sausage or three rashers of bacon can significantly raise the risk.
Bowel cancer claims 16,000 lives a year in Britain, with lung cancer the only form of the disease which kills more.
However, fewer than one in three Britons is aware of the danger posed by favourite foods such as bacon and sausages.
The sobering statistic adds to growing evidence that too much meat in the diet can be deadly.
Professor Martin Wiseman, the charity’s medical and scientific adviser, said: “We are more sure now than ever before that eating processed meat increases your risk of bowel cancer and this is why WCRF recommends that people avoid eating it.
“The evidence is that whether you are talking about bacon, ham or pastrami, the safest amount to eat is none at all.