Worries Raised Over Cheese Salt Levels

A health group have warned that food manufacturers are adding dangerous amounts of salt to cheese – often more than you’d find in a bag of crisps.

The Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash) group sampled 30g portions from 30 different cheeses and found that Roquefort has 1.06g of salt per portion, which is over a sixth of a person’s recommended daily intake.

Other cheeses such as mozzarella and wensleydale fared better in the investigation, but on the whole salt levels were far too high.

Prof Graham MacGregor of Cash told the BBC, "The Department of Health must now stop its delaying tactics and set new much lower targets for cheese manufacturers, and make sure they achieve them.

"Even small reductions will have large health benefits. For every one gram reduction in population salt intake we can prevent 12,000 heart attacks, stroke and heart failure, half of which would have been fatal.”

However, another group, The Dairy Council a non-for-profit organisation, feel that Cash’s conclusions are too one-sided and do not take other health benefits, such as it being a key provider of essential proteins, vitamins and minerals.

Dr Judith Bryans from the group added that salt is an essential part of the cheese making process.

The Department of Health also said that they’re proposed changes to food labelling would hopefully make a difference, in a country where 700,000 tonnes of cheese are consumed every year.

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