Takeaway meals packed with salt and fatBut restaurants refuse to change menus

17 July 2007

 

Salt from a salt shaker.

A survey of restaurants, takeaways and pubs across the South East has found alarming amounts of salt and fat hidden in popular takeaway food.

The study by 19 Trading Standards Services across the region looked at 101 samples of sandwiches, Indian and Chinese takeaways, pub grub, fish and chips and children's menu options.

Experts checked levels of salt, fat and saturated fat and the worst offenders were takeaway meals – with the worst meal containing a massive 18.8g of salt and 137g of fat.

The study found that because of their very generous portion sizes, takeaway meals contained an average of over 9g of salt – over a third more than the daily-recommended maximum.

The same meals also contained an average of 69g of fat in one portion – almost the entire daily recommended amount for an adult.

Changed recipes

Some of the worst premises were presented with the findings to see if they would change their recipes.

But most were not interested in making changes for fear of losing sales.

Kathryn Heirons, chairwoman of the TSSE Food Group, said: ‘We accept the argument that it should be down to individuals to make their own choices as to what they eat but the results of this survey show alarming amounts of salt and fat hidden in popular takeaway food.

‘If eaten regularly then this food would have a significant impact on the health of consumers. We need to find ways of working with food businesses to reduce levels in such a way that they can see a potential advantage to their businesses and therefore to the benefit of all consumers.’