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Pubs urged to ‘save lives’ by tackling salt levels in food

By Daniel Woolfson

- Last updated on GMT

Pubs urged to ‘save lives’ by tackling salt levels in food

Related tags: Hypertension, Lga

Pubs and similar food businesses must take action on salt to potentially save thousands of lives, the Local Government Association (LGA) has urged.

While the hospitality industry has made progress to reduce salt levels in dishes during the past few years, some chains are lagging behind, according to LGA community and wellbeing spokesperson councillor Izzi Seccombe.

"Too much salt can kill and thousands of deaths from salt-related health issues like high blood pressure, strokes and heart attacks could be prevented if we take action to reduce our salt consumption," she said.

Intake

As well as reducing deaths by approximately 4,000 a year, lowering salt intake could save public health bodies up to £290m annually, she added.

Salt on the menu:

  • 8.8g - JDW's gammon an chips
  • 8.1g - Beefeater's mixed grill
  • 8.01g - Harvester's mixed grill

"Councils across the country, who are responsible for public health, have been working hard to bring salt levels down through innovative initiatives, which include setting up projects to work with restaurants, takeaways and fish and chip shops.

"But this won't solve the problem alone. Big restaurant, pub and fast-food chains need to commit to cutting salt and help save lives."

Recent research by Treated.com​ revealed that some main courses at high street pub chains contained more salt than meals at outlets traditionally viewed as more unhealthy.

For instance, gammon and eggs at JD Wetherspoon was found to contain 8.8g of salt, more than four times the salt content of a small Italian supreme pizza at Pizza Hut.

Double

A mixed grill at Whitbread brand Beefeater contained 8.1g of salt, more than double the salt contained in a Whopper and regular fries from Burger King.

The same meal at Mitchells & Butlers chain Harvester contained 8.01g of salt, while a Fully Loaded meal from KFC only contained 3.44g.

Earlier this month, the LGA called for pub, restaurant and cinema chains with more than 20 sites to display the calorie content of their menus' food and drink.

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