'Healthy' chip gets green lightsChips contain less than 3 per cent fat

10 January 2007

 

Chip on fork

Food manufacturer McCain says it’s come up with a new ‘healthy’ chip which contains only 3 per cent fat and no cholesterol.

The rustic oven chip is the first to score four ‘green lights’ under the new ‘traffic light’ labelling scheme championed by the Food Standards Agency.

Which? food campaigner Miranda Watson said: ‘Many people think of chips as being unhealthy, but as McCain has shown that is not always the case.

‘The traffic lights show this very clearly and having them will help consumers see very easily which chips are healthier than others.

‘Having said that, we now want all manufacturers and retailers to put traffic lights on their packages because at the moment, with different labels, it is going to be difficult to compare.’

Traffic light labelling

Retailers who have taken on the FSA scheme include Sainsbury's, Asda, Waitrose and the Co-op.

But some supermarkets and food manufacturers have snubbed the FSA scheme and instead use guideline daily amount labels on their packaging.

An FSA spokeswoman said traffic light colours will help consumers make healthier choices when shopping.

She said: ‘We are pleased that the majority of retailers and manufacturers recognise the importance of front of pack labelling and are demonstrating a clear commitment to introduce schemes.’

‘Confuse shoppers’

Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: ‘This is a great example of how the traffic light system will help people know which foods to choose to stay healthy.

‘If manufacturers choose to produce their own labelling guidance, it will only serve to confuse shoppers. Giving confusing information is likely to be little better than giving no information at all.’