The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has highlighted three key measures it says would drive down salt consumption in the UK.

It has called on restaurants, cafés and takeaways to reduce their salt usage, a move it said would help consumers acclimatise better to less salty tastes in prepared and packaged foods.

It also called on the government to offer skills support to small- and medium-sized businesses, to help them reduce salt, calorie and saturated fat levels in their products.

Finally, it said the release of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) and Committee on Toxicity (COT) report on using potassium-based salt replacers, due in 2017, was needed before some categories could progress salt reduction targets.

Public Health England

The call follows a report by Public Health England, which showed salt consumption had fallen 11% between 2005/6 and 2014. However, the latest National Diet and Nutrition Survey suggested consumption has remained static over the last three years, with the average adult consuming 8.1g of salt a day in 2011, against 8.0g in 2014.

Tim Rycroft, corporate affairs director at the FDF, said: “Salt consumption in the UK has been on a downward trend for years, with voluntary recipe change from Britain’s food and drink producers credited with driving much of this progress. FDF members alone have cut salt in their products by 8% on average since 2011.

“As today’s data shows, intakes of salt continue to drop, albeit at a slower rate. Continued public education and action from more companies across the food industry is needed to drive further progress. Producers of packaged foods, which have been at the forefront of this work, are finding it harder to further reduce salt without compromising product safety, quality, taste or shelf-life.”