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Salt target warning over popular sausages

By
WebMD UK Health News
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks
sausages

6th December 2017 – Sausage manufacturers have done little to cut salt levels in their products for the last 6 years, say health campaigners.

Starting the day with a sausage sandwich could amount to almost two thirds of an adult's maximum daily recommended intake, according to Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH).

Official recommendations say adults have no more than 6g of salt each day.

Sausage salt levels 'relatively unchanged'

The survey found that the average salt content of sausages sold today is 1.3g of salt per 100g of sausage. That works out at an average of 1.16g of salt for 2 bangers.

However, some brands of popular sausages had more than 2g of salt per 100g.

According to CASH, the average saltiness of sausages has remained relatively unchanged since 2011. A previous survey carried out in 2011 found the average salt content of sausages to be 1.4g per 100g – which it says exceeded salt reduction targets in place at the time.

New voluntary targets for 2017 are due to be met in just a few weeks, but CASH says it is time to impose mandatory rules on the industry.

"So far, we have seen very little evidence that the latest set of voluntary salt targets have been achieved, despite the impending deadline this month," explains Sonia Pombo, nutritionist and campaign manager at CASH. "Therefore, strict monitoring and tougher regulation from the government must be implemented."

The saltiest and the least salty

Huge variations were found in salt levels across sausage brands.

The saltiest was Richmond 12 Skinless Pork Sausages which had 2.3g of salt per 100g. In fact, Richmond sausages took the top 6 places in the salt league table.

There were many examples of sausages with very low salt content. The winner was The Co-operative's own brand Irresistible 6 Sweet Chilli Sausages which had just 0.75g of salt per 100g.

Meat free alternatives did not always score well. Quorn’s 4 Best of British Sausages contained 1.9g of salt per 100g. Eating 2 of these would provide 2.2g salt – more salt than half a Pizza Hut margherita pizza.

Examples of sausages high in salt per 100g as per label

Brand

Product Name

Salt (g)
per 100g

Salt per single
sausage (g)

Richmond

12 Skinless Pork Sausages

2.3

0.53

Richmond

8 Thick Pork Sausages

2.2

1.08

ASDA

Extra Special 6 Bacon & Maple Syrup Pork Sausages

2.1

1.11

Heck

Chicken Italia Chipolatas

1.9

0.65

Quorn

4 Best of British Sausages

1.9

1.1

Examples of sausages containing 1.0g or less of salt per 100g as per label:

Brand

Product Name

Salt (g)
per 100g

Salt per single
sausage (g)

Iceland

6 Outdoor Bred Cumberland Premium Sausages

0.9

0.5

ASDA

Extra Special 6 Lincolnshire Port Sausages

0.83

0.45

The Co-operative

Irresistible 6 Sweet Chilli Sausages

0.75

0.5

ASDA

Butcher's Selection 12 British Pork Sausages

1.0

0.55

Lidl

Deluxe 6 Bramley Apple British Pork Sausages

0.8

0.48

The survey also found large variations within supermarket own-brand sausages. For instance, the saltiest variety sold by ASDA had more than double the salt per sausage of ASDA's least salty variety.

According to CASH, this demonstrates that making sausages with less salt is possible and could be achieved by all manufacturers, not just the responsible few.

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