Workplace catering specialist Charlton House last year removed 602kg of salt from its meals, it revealed as Salt Awareness Week kicked off.
This is the first demonstration of meeting the caterer’s salt reduction pledge to the Government’s Public Health Responsibility Deal.
Part of parent firm CH&Co, Charlton House provides catering services to around 40,000 people in the workplace every day, and it launched this initiative last year under the business’s Wellbeingbeingwell healthy eating banner.
The salt reduction was achieved in three ways: less salt is added to food during preparation; purchased products contain less salt; and less salt is made available “at the diner’s plate”.
Michelin-starred chef Raymond Blanc hosted a session of salt reduction training for 40 of the caterer’s head chefs in September last year, who in turn rolled out the training to a further 85 chefs, enabling a 15% reduction in added salt, the company said.
Low-salt versions of products such as baked beans and bouillon, saw the amount of salt in the products fall by 39% and 41% respectively.
Salt-free butter has been offered to diners as a healthier alternative, while salt tolerance testing sessions with clients were also rolled out in the run-up to Salt Awareness Week.
Chief executive Caroline Fry, nutritionist Amanda Ursell, creative director Judy Roberts, and food director chef David Cavalier have led the process that creates healthy eating concepts and menus for clients – with an emphasis on salt reduction.
Katharine Jenner, campaign director of CASH (Consensus Action on Salt & Health) welcomed the move: “It shows that both chefs and consumers alike can easily eat less salt, and although they won’t notice a difference to the taste, they will notice a difference to their health.
“For every 1g reduction per person in the nation’s salt intake we can prevent 6,000 people dying prematurely from strokes, heart attacks and heart failure.”
Other Wellbeingbeingwell initiatives include: introduction of healthy Essent-Oil, which has a balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fats; replacing all semi-skimmed milk with 1% fat milk; replacing all mayonnaise with a low-fat version; launching a range of calorie-counted salads, soups and sandwiches; replacing all tinned fruit in syrup with tinned fruit in juice; and increasing vegetable side portions to 80g, which qualifies each to be one of five-a-day.
By Janie Manzoori-Stamford
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Published by: The Caterer