Commenting on the results of a survey on salt levels in curries and other Indian products published today by lobby group CASH (Consensus Action on Salt and Health), BHF policy manager Mubeen Bhutta said: “The level of salt in some of these curries is frankly outrageous, but it’s often tucked away behind unhelpful food labels where it¹s difficult to spot.”
According to CASH, some supermarket ready meals contain more than twice the amount of salt adults should safely consume in one day.
In its survey of more than 780 Indian ready meals, breads, pickles and cooking sauces sold in UK supermarkets and takeaways, CASH also found large discrepancies in the salt content between equivalent products at different retailers and catering outlets.
For example, Sainsbury’s Be Good To Yourself Chicken Korma with Pilau Rice contained 0.91g salt per portion, whereas Lidl’s Kan Pur Garden Chicken Korma with Pilau Rice contained 4.5g of salt per portion.
Iceland was also singled out for selling frozen balti meals containing 11-14g of salt per portion - twice the maximum 6g daily limit recommended by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
The supermarkets were also criticised for the high salt content in their naan breads, with Marks and Spencer first in the firing line for its garlic and coriander naan, which contains 3.2g salt per portion - more than half the daily 6g maximum.
FSA salt targets
However, the supermarkets insisted that they had all made significant progress in reducing salt across their product ranges, with Tesco claiming to have met 2010 FSA salt targets for 98% of its productsand Morrisons claiming to have hit FSA 2010 targets for 90% of its products.
The Co-operative Group, meanwhile, said that it had already reached the FSA’s more challenging 2012 salt targets for its own-label ready meals and cook-in sauces.
The CASH survey was conducted during March and April.