A huge advance in public health was announced today, with the news that a new food labelling system will be recommended by the Department of Health, enabling shoppers to identify how much salt is in their food.
The ‘hybrid’ labels, which are still voluntary, should be in use by next summer and will combine the current ‘traffic light’ colour-coding, guideline daily amounts and the amount of each nutrient in the product, for fat, saturated fat, salt, sugar and calories.
The announcement is the result of a three-month consultation by the Department of Health to establish what a consistent, clear front of pack label should look like.
Consensus Action on Salt & Health (CASH) and other health charities including the British Heart Foundation, Which?, National Heart Forum and Diabetes UK fed into the consultation, having long campaigned for clearer labelling.
Katharine Jenner, Campaign Director of CASH comments:
“CASH wants to see salt intakes come down to below the recommended 6g a day, to reduce the number of people suffering from strokes, heart attacks or heart disease.
“Until salt levels come down across the whole of the food industry, clear labelling is the only practical solution for people to take responsibility for their health.
“As such, we have long campaigned for the introduction of a single front of pack nutrition labelling scheme in the UK and are thrilled with the outcome of today’s consultation.
“It is vital that the scheme is rolled out not just in the big retailers, but across all food brands, on food eaten both in and out of the home.
“Any food manufacturer that now fails to improve their labelling is acting irresponsibly and is putting the public’s health at risk.”