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'Voluntary guidelines haven’t proved to be ‘worth their salt’' - expert comments on salt levels in processed foods

Following Public Health England's report on salt in processed meats and ready meals, GP Dr James Gill from Warwick Medical School argues that now is the time to consider mandatory maximum salt levels in foods.

Dr Gill says: “Modern healthcare is about optimising health to prevent long term conditions developing. In 2014, voluntary guidelines were set on salt levels to help reduce the chances of developing high blood pressure and the myriad of secondary health issues this can increase the risk of.

“Despite the meat industry saying that it is ‘playing its part’ in the last three years, this latest study from Public Health England shows none of the processed meats examined had less than the average target salt levels. Shockingly, 43% had MORE than the maximum recommended levels!

“I would personally suggest that this is an opportunity for the Food Standards Agency to consider imposing mandatory maximum salt levels in foods - voluntary guidelines haven’t proved to be ‘worth their salt’.”


Peter Thorley

Media Relations Manager (Warwick Medical School and Department of Physics)

Email: peter dot thorley at warwick dot ac dot uk

Tel: +44 (0)24 761 50868

Mob: +44 (0) 7824 540863