The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is likely to shift the spotlight back on to ready meals in its campaign to reduce levels of salt in foods.
Speaking at last month's Westminster Diet and Health Forum, Sir John Krebs, chairman of the FSA, said that he would like the agency to review its June 2003 survey on salt content in ready meals to see if manufacturers had heeded its advice. The report ?named and shamed' ready meals with a high percentage of salt per portion, including two Asda children's meals.
"We looked at a range of ready meals where the salt content varied and I'd like us to go back and see if average levels have come down and variations have changed," said Krebs.
The FSA is currently studying salt in pizzas, baked beans and canned pasta. It is expected to publish the findings in the next couple of months.
Also speaking at the forum, the public health minister Melanie Johnson said that manufacturers were still not tackling the issue head on.
She had asked food manufacturers to table plans for reducing levels of salt in a range of foods by February this year.
"There is still a long way to go," said Johnson."Many plans did not contain enough detail or action. Quite a lot of the food industry lacks vision about how to switch to the agenda."