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Suppliers stand to miss salt targets

Food manufacturers across almost every category are in danger of missing salt reduction targets for 2017, new research has revealed.

A survey by Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) found that only one out of 28 food categories is on track to meet Public Health England’s (PHE) 2017 salt reduction targets, with just nine months to go until the deadline.

Only bread rolls has so far met the 2017 maximum target, but not the average salt target, based on analysis using the FoodSwitch UK app and its SaltSwitch filter.

CASH also uncovered huge discrepancies in levels of salt between different brands in the same category. For instance, it found a 97% difference between Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut Nuts & Caramel Bites (1.13g of salt/100g) and Jordans Country Crisp with Sun-Ripe Strawberries (0.03g of salt/100g).

The survey compared two shopping baskets each containing similar everyday food items, but with different amounts of salt. The difference in salt content between the ‘unhealthy’ and ‘healthy’ baskets of products came in at 57g.

“The findings from our FoodSwitch shopping basket survey are alarming and we are shocked to see that many food manufacturers and retailers are still failing to meet the salt reduction targets, despite having had years to work towards them,” said Katharine Jenner, registered nutritionist and campaign director for CASH.

“We congratulate the other, more responsible manufacturers that have successfully achieved them, or are on track to meet them by the end of the year – which shows it is possible. With only nine months to go, action must be taken now.”