The government's plans to get the UK's fast food industry to self regulate could be thwarted after Burger King announced it was pulling out of the programme.
The company announced it will not cut salt, fat or sugar levels in its products any further and would concentrate on building a reputation for being "tastier" than its rivals.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is developing a joint venture with the industry to self-regulate and reformulate fast foods to make them healthier.
The move by Burger King, which coincides with the launch of a £6m FSA campaign to raise awareness of the need to cut down salt intake, could jeopardise this initiative's effectiveness.
Rosemary Hignett, the FSA's head of nutrition said: "We are very disappointed by Burger King's decision to abandon work on salt reduction. Any U-turn on such an important measure will have a negative impact on people's diets."
The burger chain, which has 900 outlets UK-wide is considering introducing the 740-calorie Enormous Omelette Sandwich, adding to its range which already includes the 921-calorie XL Double Whopper with cheese and the healthier choice 600-calorie Monterey Melt.
A Burger King spokesman said: "Our commitment to our guests is to provide them with choice."
By Emily Manson
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