Derby Trading Standards

Derby Trading Standards launch less-holed salt shaker initiative in local fish & chip shops

24 November 2010

Click here for the Derby Telegraph article

Shake the salt habit

Every year more than 384m portions of fish and chips are eaten in Britain, with 1.5m served in Derby. Most of us add a good shake of salt to our chips - but Derby trading standards have been working with George’s Tradition, UK Fish & Chip Retailer of the Year, to trial a new salt shaker which adds a smaller and healthier sprinkling of salt.

Today at George’s Tradition the City Council launched a project to try and get every fish and chip shop and takeaway in the city to use the new shakers.
Food manufacturers are already reducing the amount of salt they put in food, however the public also need to try and get out of the habit of adding too much to their food and a recent scientific study in Nature magazine backed evidence up to a quarter of salt added to moved could be removed without altering the taste[Ref 1].

The new shaker, which producers a smaller helping was welcomed by Cllr Matthew Holmes, deputy leader of Derby City Council. "Improving health is one of the City Council’s top priorities,” said Cllr Holmes. “Eating too much salt increases blood pressure and the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes, the biggest killers in the UK.The new salt shakers dispense around half the salt of traditional versions.

“This isn't about telling people they can't have any salt, most people like their chips that way, but the message is that if we all make an effort to reduce our intake, even modestly, we really will improve our long-term health.”

Lucy Hall of Georges Tradition said: “We pride ourselves on the quality of our product and the health of our customers is very important to us. We go to many lengths make sure our food is as healthy as possible for our customers – our cooking techniques and special recipe batter minimise oil absorption, so we were delighted to be asked to trial these salt shakers. They’ve been a great success in our trials so far and we would really recommend using them.”       

Professor Graham MacGregor, Chairman of Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) said: “This is an important initiative which we strongly support, as it will help reduce the amount of salt we add to our food. We hope other fish and chip shops across Derby and the UK will follow the example of George’s Tradition. This will help to prevent the many thousands of people dying from strokes, heart disease and heart attacks due to eating too much salt.”


The current average daily salt intake for UK adults is 8.6g whereas the recommended intake for an adult is 6g a day.
Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure, which triples your risk of developing heart disease or stroke.

Benefits of cutting down salt intake:

   * Reduces blood pressure, whether or not your blood pressure is high to start with
   * When your blood pressure goes down, your risk of developing heart disease and stroke goes down too, whatever your age.
   * If you have high blood pressure, cutting down on salt could lower your blood pressure after four weeks. Try to make this a permanent change to carry on seeing the positive effects.
   * You may start to notice a wider range of flavours in food, as your taste buds adjust to having less salt.

     It is estimated 30% of all adults in England have high blood pressure.
     1.      Greenfield H, Maples J, Wills RB. Salting of food-a function of hole size and location of shakers. Nature. 1983 Jan 27;301(5898):331-2.