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McDonald's Taking Steps To Reduce Cancer Causing Chemicals In Food

Update Date: Jan 26, 2017 09:10 PM EST

The Food Standards Agency earlier this week has warned consumers about the high levels of acrylamide present in fries, toast and other carbs. It has been reported to increase the risk of developing cancer.

A McDonald's spokesperson said consumers had nothing to fear from indulging in their favorite meal from the fast food store. By the time FSA's warning was released, McDonald's meals already contained lower levels of acrylamide compared to other food chains.

McDonald's reported to have been taking measures in the reduction of acrylamide in its food. For the past decade they have changed the variety and type of potatoes they use that have less starch. They have introduced new storage methods and processing conditions to limit the risk of acrylamide formation.  

Acrylamide is formed when sugars and proteins in starchy foods are roasted, fried, baked or toasted. It causes a chemical reaction at high temperatures around 120 degrees Celsius and above.

McDonald's said: "Food safety is a top priority of ours and we have worked with national and European authorities and extensively with our suppliers, taking into consideration a number of factors to mitigate its formation."

According to Daily Mail, skinny fries have more acrylamide than chunky chips. Major fast-food chain McDonalds have been warned by FSA about the dangers of acrylamide. Guidelines on how to reduce acrylamide levels have been issued.

FSA experts have also advised not to store potatoes in the fridge, this is a process called cold sweetening because cold temperatures can increase formation of acrylamide. The longer the potatoes are kept in the fridge the greater the risks.

Some critics argued that the acrylamide health effects on humans are extremely weak. Animal studies have linked acrylamide health risks but there are no current studies that have strong evidence any link of these risks to humans.

The Sun Online reported that the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the World Health Organisation, has warned acrylamide is a "probable human carcinogen". The US Environmental Protection Agency also said the chemical is "likely to be carcinogenic to humans."

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