A whole host of bakery manufacturers have signed up to the first phase of the Department of Health’s Public Heath Responsibility Deal, launched today.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley announced more than 170 signatories had put their names to a range of collective pledges, designed to improve the health of the nation, which include: publishing calories counts on menus from September this year; reducing salt levels in food; and the removal of artificial trans fats by the end of 2011.

Companies that have signed up to the ‘food pledge’ to include out-of-home calorie labelling include: Pret A Manger, Pizza Hut, and Camden Food Co.

Associated British Foods’ grocery division, Warburtons, Burton’s Foods and United Biscuits (UK) are among those signed up to the salt reduction pledge.

Meanwhile, the most popular pledge - to remove all artificial trans fats - has attracted commitments from the likes of Fine Lady Bakeries, Samworth Brothers, Subway, Kerry Foods, Burton’s Foods, United Biscuits, Warburtons, Premier Foods and Associated British Foods’ grocery division.

Supermarkets including Asda, the Co-operative, Morrisons, Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose have also signed up to the measures.

“We know that regulation is costly, can take years and is often only determined at an EU-wide level anyway. That’s why we have to introduce new ways of achieving better results,” commented Lansley.

“The deals published today demonstrate the effectiveness of our radical partnership approach to deliver more and sooner.

“And it is only the first step. While I’m pleased with the progress we have achieved in seven months and that over 170 organisations have already signed up as partners, we want more organisations to sign up, and also to work with us to develop further collective and individual pledges.”

>>DoH pursues initiative on calorie labelling