Salt in processed meats needs to be reduced, says The George Institute

Less than 10 per cent of processed meats in Australian supermarkets have acceptable salt levels, according to data released by The George Institute.

The research examined salt levels in 552 processed meat products, including bacon, sausages, deli meats, meat burgers, meat pies and canned meat. It found that only 5 per cent of sliced sandwich meats and 3 per cent of sausages met international benchmarks.

“There is widespread recognition that the food industry needs to reduce salt in processed foods. This research highlights the importance of targeting processed meat products in the food supply,” said Elizabeth Dunford, report author.

According to The George Institute, the Australian Government’s Food and Health Dialogue recently set Australian salt targets for bread and breakfast cereals and is currently considering targets for processed meats.

“The Food and Health Dialogue has a real opportunity here. Processed meats are a major source of dietary salt, and there is huge scope for reducing salt in these products. The Australian food industry must commit to targets that will deliver real change,” said Bruce Neal, senior director at The George Institute for International Health.

He also said that The George Institute will be tracking individual companies’ progress in reducing salt in foods.





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