Department of Health updates 2017 salt pledge

THE DEPARTMENT of Health has updated its 2017 target to reduce the average intake of salt consumed by the public as part of the Responsibility Deal.

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The pledge has been updated to target foodservice operators and include products sold through ‘out-of-home’ foodservice channels including restaurants.


Currently, the recommended daily amount is set at 6g per day for adults which helps to lower a person’s risk of having high blood pressure, a heart attack or a stroke.


A spokesperson from the Department of Health said, “We recognise that achieving the public health goal of consuming no more than 6g salt per person per day will necessitate further action across the whole food industry, Government, NGOs and by individuals.


“We want to improve the health of the nation…and on average, we are eating approximately 2g of salt more each day than the recommended amount and it is vital we address this. This is why we are working with industry through the Responsibility Deal to reduce the amount of salt in foods.”


The new updates aim to help consumers lower their salt intake while eating meals out of the home by limiting the amount of salt foodservice operators put into popular meals and dishes.


Targets have been developed for salt reduction in 11 food categories, divided into 24 sub categories, and are based on the ten most popular food groups purchased in the out of home sector, including sauced based dishes, sandwiches and pizza.


Additional targets have also been made for children’s meals which is set at 1.8g per serving which is particularly important given a recent study by Professor Graham MacGregor, University of London has found that 70% of children ate more than the recommended 6g a day. This updated target of 1.8g of salt per 100g applies to children’s meal deals in fast food restaurants but not in schools.


The Department of Health has said that businesses should aim to meet these targets within 2 years of signing the pledge and it is a key step towards bringing the salt content of food in the out of home sector in line with the wider food industry.