New UK salt reduction targets

The Food Standards Agency has unveiled revised salt reduction targets for the food industry, affecting 80 food categories.

By 2012, the FSA is hoping to have reduced salt intake to 6g a day for adults (2.4g sodium), from around 9.5g in 2000/1. The current consumption estimate is at 8.6g, indicating that progress has been made since the campaign was initiated.
While the FSA admits that the new voluntary targets are more challenging than previous targets, it says it is vital that food retailers and manufacturers maintain the momentum in reducing salt levels.
Around 75 per cent of people’s salt consumption is thought to come from everyday prepared foods, making it paramount that consumer awareness is combined with industry action.
The new targets have been set for foods that make the most contribution to salt intake, such as bread, meat, and cereals. Convenience foods like pizza, ready meals and snacks are also on the hit list.
“The UK is leading the way in Europe and beyond in salt reduction, says Rosemary Hignett, head of nutrition at the Food Standards Agency.“The reductions which have already been achieved in the UK are already saving lives. To continue to make progress we have set 2012 targets at levels that will make a further impact on consumers’ intakes, while taking into account technical and safety issues associated with taking salt out of food.

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