Date Published: 18 May 2009

Agency publishes 2012 salt reduction targets

Health Food - illustrating an item from the UK Food Standards Agency.

The Agency has published revised salt reduction targets for 2012, for 80 categories of foods. The new voluntary targets are more challenging than previous targets, to make sure food retailers and manufacturers maintain the momentum in reducing salt levels. The revised targets also reflect the Agency's long-term commitment to reducing people's average salt intake to 6g a day.

The previous targets for 2010 were set in 2006. Many manufacturers and retailers have made considerable reductions in salt levels and the revised targets reflect this progress. However, salt levels still vary considerably between different products and there is clearly scope for some parts of industry to do more.

The salt reduction targets have been set for foods that make the greatest contribution of salt to our diet, such as bread, meat products and cereals, as well as convenience foods such as pizza, ready meals and savoury snacks. About 75% of the salt we eat is already in the food we buy.

As the levels of salt have been reduced in foods, salt consumption in the UK has declined. The latest evidence (from 2008) estimates that people's average salt intake is 8.6g ? 0.9g lower than in 2000-2001.

Rosemary Hignett, Head of Nutrition at the Food Standards Agency, said:

"The UK is leading the way in Europe and beyond in salt reduction. 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 real impact on consumers' intakes, whilst taking into account technical and safety issues associated with taking salt out of food."

The Agency will work closely with industry to monitor progress towards meeting the 2012 targets. It will run further public awareness activity on salt in autumn 2009.

 

Source: Food Standards Agency (FSA), UK.

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