F5(a). Salt Catering: Training and Kitchen Practice

“We recognise that achieving the public health goal of consuming no more than 6g of salt per person per day will necessitate further action across the whole industry, Government, NGOs and individuals.

We will support and enable consumers to reduce their dietary salt intake. We will do this by reducing the amount of salt used in our kitchens by at least 15%, within a specified 2-year period by taking the following actions in respect of:

  • kitchen practices;
  • salt availability;
  • chef training.

Restaurant kitchen practice
We will adopt the following kitchen practices:

  • vegetables and boiled starchy carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes and pasta will be cooked without added salt;
  • our chefs will be provided with specific ingredient and salt quantities as well as equipment to control salt dosage so that we offer known and consistent salt levels in the foods we prepare.

Salt availability
We will take active steps to encourage behaviour change among consumers to reduce the use of discretionary salt (e.g., by ensuring that salt is made available only at customers’ direct request).

Chef training
We commit to train all of our chefs/staff on:

  • the importance of salt reduction for heart health and for helping consumers meet recommended dietary intakes[1],[2];
  • awareness of foods or ingredients (such as stock, soy sauce etc.) which are high in salt or contribute significantly to the intake of salt;
  • how to reduce the levels of salt in their dishes/items and encourage changes in consumer palates;
  • developing menus which are lower in salt and include lower salt options.”

The following provides supporting information to help organisations understand how, by becoming a Responsibility Deal partner, you can help deliver this pledge.

What this pledge sets out to achieve

This pledge aims to help consumers lower their salt intakes while eating meals out of the home. Catering establishments signing up to this pledge will provide meals that are prepared/served with less salt, by reducing the amount of salt used in kitchens by 15% within a 2 year period of signing up to this pledge.

Businesses will also encourage behaviour change among consumers in the use of discretionary salt by, for example, ensuring that salt is made available only at customers’ direct request.

How you can deliver this pledge

Businesses that sign up to this pledge will need to adapt and integrate practices that enable and support their chefs to prepare customer acceptable meals, which are lower in salt.

It is anticipated that businesses will develop specific training and development around salt, health and reduction to fit with existing approaches and specific to their business models. This could include engaging experienced chefs in providing ‘on-the-job’ refreshers and / or take the form of bespoke team building training. Businesses will need to have mechanisms in place to ensure consistent training of both existing and new staff on salt reduction to ensure all staff are aware of the company’s policy on salt reduction.

Businesses should investigate which tools and methods are most appropriate for their particular business model to ensure chefs prepare foods with known and consistent salt levels. This will help provide a more consistent level of salt in foods and standardise dishes across catering establishments.

Businesses could add value to their activity on this pledge by inclusion of ‘salt’ related criteria into their ‘brand audits’ as appropriate. Businesses could also build into their planned refresh of standard dish/recipes specifications specific action to address salt reduction and measure progress made.

Partners signed up to this pledge.

[1] Government recommendations on salt can be found in the SACN report on Salt and Health

[2] Advice on salt, diet and health can be found on the NHS Choices website.

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