CASH releases roast dinner salt survey

A roast dinner with all the trimmings can contain nearly 10 grams of salt – four grams more than an adult’s maximum for the entire day, according to Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH).

CASH said it looked at nearly 600 supermarket roast dinner products and found that consumers could be consuming excessively high levels of salt in their Sunday roast.

The quick and easy options such as ready-stuffed joints may help save time but can be full of unnecessary salt, CASH added. When eaten with ready made gravy, stuffing, vegetables, Yorkshire puddings, condiments and a dessert, consumers could easily exceed the adult’s maximum recommended salt intake for a whole day (6g) and far exceed the daily maximum for a child.

Combined, the highest available products for a typical ‘roast beef Sunday lunch’ contained nearly 10 grams of salt (9.61g), 160% of an adult’s daily maximum recommendation.

“A family roast dinner can be a balanced and healthy meal but you do need to be careful when choosing ready prepared ingredients which can all contain a lot of salt” says Katharine Jenner, CASH campaign manager. “With all we know about the dangers of salt on our health, it is disappointing that a portion of vegetables or a small amount of mustard could still contain more salt than a packet of crisps.”

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has however hit back at the findings. Julian Hunt, FDF director of communications said: “This research does a huge disservice to a great British tradition. The Sunday roast is a time when families sit together to enjoy a hearty and healthy meal compiled from a wide range of fresh ingredients, convenient products and popular brands – not the hypothetical menu that has been cooked up here to generate a cheap headline.

“We are proud of the fact that UK food manufacturers are leading the world when it comes to changing the recipes of their products to contain less salt. Those who want a lower salt option – whether to accompany their Sunday roast or any other mealtime occasion – can find one simply by looking at the labels that are found on the front of most products sold in UK supermarkets.”

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