The Great British Sausage Addiction


When we recently had some German guests stay at our bed & breakfast near Knaresborough, they asked us where we bought our sausages, which we serve as part of our cooked Full English breakfast. We replied that we source our sausages from a local farm near Harrogate and they went off and stocked up for the rest of their tour around England.

Some of our foreign guests prefer a croissant or a slice of toast for breakfast. We offer others muesli or cereal. But the huge majority go for the cooked English.

My husband is good at schmoozing them, telling them that in heaven God serves an English breakfast, a French lunch and a (insert guest’s country’s name here) dinner. In spite of my husband’s banter, there are often sounds of “yummy” and “delicious” that I hear from guests through the hatch in the breakfast room wall and the sausages are the most remarked upon part of the breakfast meal (I leave black sausage explanations to my husband, as he used to sell cars and can explain away anything).

I don’t eat a cooked breakfast every day because I’d be the size of Yorkshire if I did. Then again, every Sunday I snaffle a couple of rashes of bacon from the pan and stick them in a bap with one of the sausages. I am also aware of the reputation of sausages as a bit of a health hazard.

A 2015 report from the World Health Organisation warned that eating just 50 grams of processed meat a day increases the risk of developing bowel cancer by 18 per cent. In plain-speak one sausage is 50 grams.

Yet Brits still love eating sausages.

A recent survey of 2,000 UK meat-eaters carried out by Debbie & Andrew’s sausages found that Britain is nowhere near ready to give up on sausages. More than one in ten confesses to eating two packs a month.

Some 12 per cent of those who participated in the study said they ate, on average, 16 sausages per month, in addition to other processed meats such as ham and bacon. Almost half said they defied health recommendations less often, restricting themselves to a sausage as a treat between two and four times a month.

I have often considered that each time I cook a sausage for a guest I am doing them harm. But then I get real and recognise there is harm everywhere if you believe everything that the World Health Organisation says. The WHO has a bit of a reputation these days as being in the pockets of lobbyists and big business.

So should I feel guilty?


Must dash. It’s Sunday. Looking forward to my sausage and bacon batch.

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