National Salt Awareness Week 2009 - Salt and Eating Out

2nd - 8th February 2009

Consensus Action on Salt and Health ( CASH ) organised the 10th National Salt Awareness Week Monday 2nd - Sunday 8th February 2009 . The focus for the Week was salt in food eaten out of the home, raising awareness that foods eaten outside the home, for example in restaurants, takeaway and fast foods, can contain a lot of hidden salt. We also aimed to highlight to the catering industry and to chefs and others involved, the importance of adding less salt to food and the long-term health implications of eating a high salt diet.

A media press release issued during the Week highlighted that many popular meals eaten in UK high-street restaurants contain large amounts of salt, in some cases more than twice the maximum daily limit for an adult in a single meal. We revealed that nearly three quarters (72%) of the main course dishes surveyed contained 3g salt or more, the maximum daily limit for a six year old child.


On the 4 th February a lunchtime reception was held at the House of Commons, chaired by Mary Creagh, MP for Wakefield , Denby Dale and Kirkburton. There were 125 guests including MPs, Peers and representatives from retailers, food manufacturers, caterers, charities, Department of Health (DH), the Food Standards Agency (FSA), media and other stakeholders. Speakers at the reception included Professor Graham MacGregor, Chairman of CASH , Dr Will Cavendish, Director of Health and Well-Being, Department of Health, Dame Deirdre Hutton, Chair of the Food Standards Agency and Anton Edelmann, Chef.

We had fantastic support from health care professionals with nearly 400 supporting events being held throughout the country, distributing over 58,000 leaflets.

Media Coverage

CASH achieved widespread coverage for National Salt Awareness Week 2009 across press, radio, TV and online. In total, we estimate that the media coverage of National Salt Awareness Week 2009 achieved in excess of 180 million opportunities to see/hear our messages about hidden salt in food eaten outside the home.

The story was covered by GMTV and BBC Breakfast on the morning of the 2nd February. Additionally, 14 radio interviews were broadcast and the story was carried on Independent Radio News and BBC Radio One bulletins.

In the press, the story was covered by The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, The Express, The Mirror and The Metro. Coverage in the online versions of these papers added to our audience figures considerably.

In addition to the national press coverage, there was extensive regional press coverage, and many reports in online food industry websites and news services, including the BBC website.

High-profile Supporters of National Salt Awareness Week 2009

Some of the UKs top chefs are lending their voices to the campaign, hoping to persuade their colleages to add less salt to their cooking:

Gordon Ramsay
"I am pleased to support National Salt Awareness Week and the important issues it raises. A high salt diet poses many health risks and I urge all chefs to consider how much salt they add to their dishes"

Raymond Blanc OBE, Chef Patron of the Manoir Au Quat' Saisons
"I believe that good food does not need more than the very lightest of seasoning - there is no reason for good chefs to mask the flavour of their ingredients by adding too much salt. Remember herby, sour, bitter and acid are also wonderful catalysts of flavour. I fully support CASH and their 2009 Salt Awareness Week. Let's all eat better by going easy on the salt."

To view a full list of high-profile supporters and organisations please Click here

World Salt Awareness Week

World Action on Salt and Health ( WASH ), the international arm of CASH held its 2nd annual World Salt Awareness Week. 28 member Countries held events as part of World Salt Awareness Week including: Australia, Bangladesh, Botswana, Bulgaria, Canada, Caribbean, Chile, Croatia, Cuba, Dubai, Egypt, Finland, Georgia, India, Italy, Kenya, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden, Turkey, UK and the USA.

Please click here to link to the World Salt Awareness Week website