Standard pork sausages on sale in the UK contain more salt now than they did when last surveyed in 1991, a new survey has found.
The survey carried out by the Food Standards Agency revealed that the amount of salt in pork sausages has increased from 2.2g to 2.4g per portion (two sausages).
Experts have recommended a daily target intake of 6g of salt for adults, which means that a portion of standard pork sausages would contain over one third of the daily target. While levels in some types of sausages have reduced, salt in all sausages surveyed is still too high, says the FSA.
Recent scientific evidence has linked high levels of salt in the diet to high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease.
The FSA’s survey found that with the exception of standard pork sausages, there has been some reduction in the amount of salt in sausages since they were last surveyed in 1991. However, although salt in ‘healthy eating’ sausage ranges, for example, has gone down by a quarter (from 2.4g to 1.8g per portion), just eating two of these sausages means people are still getting around a third of the total amount of salt recommended a day. And people eating just two economy type sausages get well over a third (2.3g salt per portion) of the 6g daily recommendation.
The FSA said that sausage brand leader Richmond had the highest salt content in its pork sausages out of all the products surveyed. Marks & Spencer’s Premium Pork Sausages and Co-op’s Butchers Select Sausages contained only 15% of the recommended daily amount. The Co-op is also moving towards using LoSalt (a low sodium alternative to salt) in many of its own-brand products.
The survey also looked at the level of fat in sausages. While there has been some reduction in the average fat content of most sausage ranges since 1991, high quality brands have actually increased by 35% since that date – from 15g to over 20g of fat per portion.