Food sector commended for lowering salt intake

Posted on 22 Jul 2008 by The Manufacturer

The Food Standards Agency has praised food producers for their part in lowering the nation’s daily salt consumption by almost ten per cent since the turn of the millennium.

New findings from the government watchdog for the food sector found people eat 8.6 grams of salt today as opposed to 9.5 grams eight years ago.

FSA boss Tim Smith said: “The Food Standards Agency is encouraged that action to reduce the average amount of salt we are eating on a daily basis is clearly having a positive impact. We recognise that the great steps taken by many manufacturers and retailers have contributed to this success.”

Smith recognised however that “there is still plenty to do”, if daily recommended doses of six grams per day are to be met. He said the FSA will now set stricter, more challenging targets for 2010 and 2012 in order to continue the trend. Research suggests capping consumption at 6 grams a day could save 20,200 heart disease related deaths per year.

Julian Hunt of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) was happy that manufacturers were given credit for the steps they have taken towards lower salt levels. “This survey confirms that the leadership shown by the food industry over many years on salt reduction is making a real difference to the diets of UK consumers,” he said. “Last year alone British shoppers saved the equivalent of almost 2,000 tonnes of salt in their total purchases across a number of food categories.”

Hunt said the FDF is to consult its members on whether the new targets are achievable.