Toast with Marmite sits on a kitchen counter in Manchester, Britain Oct. 13, 2016. Reuters

The U.K.'s food ministry is warning citizens to reduce their consumption of certain starchy foods cooked for too long at high temperatures because of a harmful element they were found to produce, however, some researchers have played down the risk.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) shared its assessment as part of a new healthy eating campaign called "Go For Gold." The program is aimed at reducing the intake of acrylamide, which has been linked to neurological damage and cancer in mice. The toxin is produced when starchy foods such as bread, potatoes, root vegetables and cereal-based foods are cooked for extended periods of time at temperatures 248 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Scientists recommended cooking foods only until they were "golden."

Some organizations such as the UK Research Center have disputed the level of risk acrylamide posed to humans. Cambridge University Professor David Spiegelhalter, who specializes in the public understanding of risk, has said the agency may be exaggerating the harm of the substance and the foods that produce it. Without an established link between acrylamide and cancer in humans, Spiegelhalter questioned the appropriateness of the campaign.

"Even adults with the highest consumption of acrylamide would need to consume 160 times as much to reach a level that might cause increased tumors in mice," he told BBC News. "The FSA provide no estimate of the current harm caused by acrylamide, nor the benefit from any reduction due to people following their advice."

The FSA also suggested not keeping raw potatoes in the refrigerator, stating that this could increase acrylamide levels, and recommended storing them in a dark, cool place over 42 degrees Fahrenheit. The agency also reminded people to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Gavin Shears, a senior policy adviser in contaminants at the FSA, said this was not an attempt to "radically change" people's diets and that people should not feel they have to throw away foods every time they overcook them.

"We're not asking people to cut out certain foods," Shears told Sky News. "This is about reducing your overall lifetime risk through simple steps."