F5(b). Salt Catering: Reformulation of products as purchased by the customer

“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 customers to reduce their dietary salt intakes by:

  • within 6 months – establishing the salt levels in products as they are offered to the final consumer for our top-selling products;
  • by the end of 2014 – providing the salt content for each product on our website and menu information guides made available on request in our catering establishments.

Building on this we will:

  • prioritise our reformulation activities to maximise the total amount of salt removed from our products and the impact on our customers health.  For some businesses this may mean a focus on their top-selling products (in terms of sales volume) for others a reduction across their menu/product range.  It is for businesses to determine the best approaches taking into account the scope for further reduction and issues of taste, quality and safety.”

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 prioritise reformulation activities that maximise the total amount of salt removed from products, thereby providing the greatest reduction in salt consumption.

How you can deliver this pledge

Businesses that become partners will help consumers lower their salt intakes while eating meals out of the home by prioritising reformulation activities to maximise the total amount of salt removed from products.  This could mean a focus on top-selling products (in terms of sales volume) or reductions across an entire menu/product range.

Partners will also provide consumers with the information they need to choose meals that are lower in salt. Information on the level of salt in products will be made available on a company’s website and in menu information guides available at catering establishments.  The level of salt in businesses top selling products will be established within 6 months of signing up to the pledge and salt levels for each product sold will be made available to the consumer by 2014.

Businesses that become partners will want to consider what early actions to put in place to ensure that they meet the pledge timescales and provide timely outcomes to benefit their customers. This may include:

  • taking early action to audit their product mix and assess salt levels to prioritise action;
  • identify a team or  staff member responsible for engagement with development chefs and ‘buyers’ so that salt reduction through reformulation/sourcing is taken into account in the planning of future menus and dish development; and
  • arrange early and ongoing discussions with suppliers to explore product/ingredient options and whether alternatives exist or require reformulation.

If you choose to analyse products to determine the level of salt in foods, information on local public analysts is available from the Food Standards Agency website.

This list provides details of official control laboratories in the UK but is not an inclusive list of all laboratories that operating in the UK.

Companies signing up to this pledge will also need to ensure that presentation of salt levels in menu guides meets requirements of food labelling regulations.  Currently, these are the national Food Labelling Regulations (1996) (FLR).  However, a new European Regulation on the Provision of Food Information to Consumers (FIR) entered into force in December 2011. Businesses need to comply with this new regulation by December 2014.

We recommend that you discuss with your local Trading Standards Service the appropriate processes that you can put into place to ensure the accuracy of the information and the way in which the information is displayed.

Guidance notes on Nutrition labelling is available.

Partners signed up to this pledge.


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