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A bag of ‘fat, chemicals – and hepatitis’: why Britain has stopped eating sausages

Name: The sausage.

Age: 5,000 years.

Appearance: A cylindrical tube of intestine stuffed with naught but pure evil.

Bog off, sausages are great. Oh really? Try telling that to the British consumer, because they’ve stopped buying them.

They haven’t. They have! We’re eating 2bn fewer sausages a year than we were in 2008.

But sausages are brilliant. Everyone loves a sausage. Well, that’s demonstrably untrue. Shoppers apparently don’t like the fact that they’re bulked out with chemicals and wheat rusk.

But that’s what gives them their delicious texture. And, comparatively, they’re drenched with fat and salt.

But that’s what gives them their delicious flavour. And in one, admittedly very small, study 10% of them were found to contain the hepatitis E virus (if not properly cooked).

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But that’s … oh, no, actually you’ve got me there. See? This is why nobody eats sausages any more. Eating a sausage is like playing a game of pass the parcel, where the prize is obesity and an inflamed liver.

So if we’re not eating sausages any more, what are we eating? Chicken and steak, apparently. Sales of beef have doubled since 2008, as have sales of fresh chicken. Because, unlike sausages, when you buy a chicken, you know you’re just eating a chicken.

Yeah, a miserable chicken that grew up being pumped full of antibiotics in the dark. And yet that’s still preferable to eating what basically amounts to a warm bag of hepatitis. Sausages are dead. Let it go.

How dead? According to a report in the Mail, within a decade they might be reduced to being a novelty meat item, like tripe or faggots.

This is a British tragedy. First sales of marmalade dropped, now sausages. What next? Top hats? Cigarettes? Look, calm down. The sausages that are still being sold are apparently some of the best quality sausages ever made. The fightback might start here.

Good, because the thought of wrapping bacon around a carrot on Christmas Day is turning my stomach. Mine too, dear friend. Mine too.

Do say: “I’ll have a full breakfast, please. Hold the chicken breast.”

Don’t say: “Next on That’s Life, a dog that can say the word ‘hepatitis.’”

This article was amended on 21 July 2015. The study that found hepatitis E in 10% of sausages was of only 63 samples, and the actual incidence of the virus in sausages may be much smaller.

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