Some of the UK’s most popular sausages contain ‘shocking’ amounts of salt – with vegetarian options equally unhealthy.
The claims were made after new research by Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash) showed that eating a sausage sandwich for breakfast could involve eating almost two thirds of an adult’s maximum daily recommended salt intake.
The health group also says that many companies have failed to reduce salt in their products, with only three weeks left to reach the 2017 targets set by Public Health England.
Among the worst offenders, was Richmond’s Skinless Pork Sausages which boasted 2.3 grams of salt per 100g.
In contrast, the Co-operative’s Irresistible Sweet Chilli Sausages was among the lowest – with just 0.75g of salt per 100g.
Quorn’s vegetarian Best of British Sausages also contained 1.9g of salt per 100g, or 2.2g in two sausages, which is more than the salt content of half a Pizza Hut Margherita pizza.
Graham MacGregor, professor of cardiovascular medicine at Queen Mary University of London, and chairman of Cash, said: ‘The UK has led the world on salt reduction but this survey clearly shows that many companies are not co-operating with the current voluntary policy. ‘
‘Public Health England, who is now responsible, must get tough on those companies not complying and set new mandatory targets to be achieved by 2020 without further delay.Otherwise, thousands of people will die from unnecessary strokes and heart attacks every year.
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‘Salt reduction is the most cost-effective and most successful public health preventive measure made to date, and it is a national tragedy that it is being allowed to fail.’
Responding to the research, a spokeswoman for Quorn said: ‘Quorn produces a range of sausages, with its bestselling Quorn Sausages being low in salt and highlighted on the front of pack.
‘The salt content is 1.2g per 100g for 336g of Quorn frozen sausages and 1.1g per 100g for 250g Quorn chilled sausages, making both options a healthy source of protein.
‘The range featured by Cash is Quorn’s Best of British Sausages which offers slightly more indulgent sausages. Whilst they are higher in salt, as clearly marked on pack, they are still low in saturated fat.’