Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Supermarkets Are Too Salty, Say FSA

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Supermarkets Are Too Salty, Say FSA

Article excerpt

Byline: By Graham Hiscott

Pizzas, baked beans and canned spaghetti containing high levels of salt were named-and-shamed by the UK's food watchdog yesterday.

A number of popular products had more than half the amount of salt recommended for adults to consume in a whole day.

High intakes of salt have been linked to high blood pressure, which can increase the risk of heart disease and strokes.

The Food Standards Agency wants to reduce salt consumption among adults from the current average of 9.5 grams a day to six grams by 2010.

The agency commissioned a study to look at processed food, which contributes around three-quarters of the salt in people's diets.

Among the products highlighted was a Stonebaked Pepperoni Pizza from supermarket chain Tesco. Half a standard-sized pizza contains 4.1 grams of salt ( or 68pc of the recommended 6 gram limit.

A Crisp Fine Base Speciale Pizza from manufacturer Dr Oetker was even higher, with 4.4 grams of salt for the same size portion ( 73pc.

Baked beans had some of the highest amounts of salt, according to the survey. Own-brand baked beans from supermarkets Morrisons, Budgens and Somerfield all contained 3.2 grams in half a tin (210 grams) ( 53pc of the daily limit.

The survey found even more salt in some brands of tinned spaghetti in tomato sauce.

The highest were Asda Spaghetti and Spaghetti Loops, and Co-op Spaghetti which contained 3.7 grams of salt ( 62pc of the daily maximum. The survey revealed a big variation in salt levels in the same type of products. While Safeway's Kids Spaghetti Letters contain 1.5 grams of salt, a similar product from the Blue Parrot Cafe Range from Sainsbury's contained 0.5 grams.

A Sainsbury's Blue Parrot Cheese and Tomato Pizza, and a Kids Crew Cheese and Tomato Pizza from Iceland came out worse in their category. Both contained 1.4 grams of salt ( or 28pc of the recommended daily amount for a seven to 10-year-old.

Yet a children's Food Explorers Cheese and Tomato Pizza from Waitrose contained just 0.5 grams of salt, and a similar product from Tesco 1 gram.

Sir John Krebs, chairman of the FSA, said: "Foods such as baked beans, spaghetti and pizza are products which families rely on. …

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