Sodexo is one of 30 UK companies to have signed up to the Responsibility Deal Food Network’s latest salt reduction pledges.
The targets – F9 Salt Reduction and F10 Out of Home Salt Reduction – were launched in March. The first (F9) challenges the industry to further reduce the amount of salt in 76 categories of food by 2017, replacing the previous F2 pledge. The second (F10) is a new set of targets covering the 10 most popular high street dishes and children’s meals.
Commenting on this, Wan Mak, head of nutrition and dietetics at Sodexo UK&I said: “At Sodexo we serve around one million meals every day to a broad range of customers in workplaces, hospitals, schools, prisons, army barracks and at fine-dining venues and events right across the UK. Given this reach, we have a great opportunity to promote healthier eating and we are committed to reducing the amount of saturated fat, sugar and salt in the food we serve.
“As a founding partner of the Responsibility Deal since 2011, we have made good progress in reducing salt. We have done this through a number of measures: by training our chefs to use less salt, by reducing the amount of salt in our recipes, by using lower-salt products (such as unsalted butter and lower salt and sugar baked beans) and by encouraging our customers to add less salt to their food.
“By switching to lower salt margarine, we made a total saving of 191,200g of salt. We have reduced our salt sachets by 2.5g which has resulted in a reduction of more than 45 tonnes of salt a year consumed. We have trained our chefs to be ‘salt aware’ and to look for creative solutions to replace salt with other ingredients, so that we are delivering less salt but aren’t compromising on taste. And finally, we have defined it as company policy that we don’t put salt cellars on dining tables in Sodexo restaurants, which means that people think twice before adding extra salt to their meals.
“In order to work towards the new targets we will continue to drive these initiatives across our business.”
Jane Ellison, Public Health Minister said: “I am delighted by the response we have had from more than 30 major companies and would encourage others to follow suit and sign up. We want to help people to improve their health and the evidence shows that too much salt can lead to high blood pressure which can increase the risk of conditions such as heart disease and stroke.
‘The World Health Organisation has recognised the UK as among the world leaders in reducing salt in the diet but we want to go further to help prevent people dying early. The support of the industry, like the commitments given today, is a vital part of this.”