Salt levels fall in Irish processed meat
A new report by the Food Safety Authority Ireland (FSAI) has highlighted reductions in the salt content in processed meats, such as bacon, cooked ham and sausages.
The salt content in Irish bacon fell 27%, in cooked ham 15% and in sausage products by 11%. The FSAI described the reductions as “significant”.
The findings are based on a sample of 530 processed food products taken in 2015, as part of the FSAI’s ongoing salt monitoring programme which began in 2003.
Despite the positive results the average salt intake of Irish consumers still exceeds the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommended 5g salt per day.
Dr Wayne Anderson, director of Food Science and Standards at the FSAI, said: “While levels of salt have decreased in processed foods, the average dietary salt intakes in Irish adults continue to exceed the recommended daily intake of 5g salt per day. The estimated average daily salt intake in Irish adults is currently 11.1g salt per/day in men and 8.5g salt per/day in women.”
The FSAI has stressed that the reformulation of foods must be driven by the industry, with the FSAI continuing its independent monitoring of levels.
“Overall we are satisfied with the latest salt reductions and this outlines Irish manufacturers’ commitment and positive contribution being made to tackle health issues,” Anderson continued. “Going into the future, the industry needs to pursue further research and development to achieve further reductions where possible.”