Forgetting about your bread in the toaster may be more than just a smoky inconvenience. New research from the Food Standards Agency in the UK claimed that overly cooked starchy foods like burnt toast and roasted potatoes could be carcinogenic.
When starchy foods are cooked above a certain temperature, the chemical compound acrylamide is naturally produced. Potato chips and French fries are also found to contain the substance, which is defined by the National Cancer Institute as a “probable human carcinogen” based on experiments with lab mice and rats.
The Food Standards Agency said in its research that the warning is not meant to “alarm” anyone, nor would having a piece or two of overcooked toast be of particular concern.
“We’re not saying avoid particular foods or groups of foods but vary your diet so you smooth out your risk,” Steve Wearne, FSA director of policy, told The Guardian. “We are not saying to people to worry about the occasional piece of food or meal that’s overcooked. This is about managing risk across your lifetime.”