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Restaurants criticised for not doing enough on salt

28 July 2014 by
Restaurants criticised for not doing enough on salt

The restaurant industry has been criticised for failing to do enough to control the level of salt in the meals it serves.

Restaurants were accused of "dragging their heels" over targets to reduce the amount of salt in meals by the Local Government Association (LGA), which represents almost 400 councils in England and Wales and last year took over responsibility for public health.

The LGA said just one restaurant group - Jamie's Italian - and one fast food chain - Subway - had committed to Department of Health voluntary targets launched almost five months ago to cut salt in the 10 most popular dishes among chains.

But the LGA said some restaurant and pub meals had been found to have up to 9g - around two teaspoons. This in spite of the fact that current guidelines recommend adults consume no more than 6g of salt a day.

The average salt intake in England of 8.1g a day in 2011 was still 35% higher than the recommended level and 70% of adults breached the advised limit.

"Despite new targets set by government to bring restaurants in line with the rest of industry, they are lagging a long way behind. We think this is totally unacceptable.

A Department of Health spokesperson said: "The UK's work on salt reduction is world leading. More than 70% of retailers and 65% of major high street restaurants and contract caterers have made a commitment to reduce salt through the Responsibility Deal. We are pleased that so many businesses have committed to the new targets."

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