The UK's department of health has warned that food manufacturers have been too slow in cutting high levels of salt in their products. As a result, the body is considering naming and shaming the worst offenders and introducing a 'high in salt' label, unless manufacturers make a concerted effort to reduce salt levels in their products.
Melanie Johnson MP, public health minister, said she wanted to see much more progress from the industry on salt reduction. This issue is likely to be a key talking point when the minister meets with food and drink manufacturers and campaigners next month.
"Naming and shaming and putting warning labels on products is a possibility in the long term," said a department of health spokesman. "The minister is concerned that not enough is happening from the industry to tackle salt, sugar and fat levels."
There has been growing public disquiet over the levels of salt intake, and in particular the high levels of salt in processed food.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) published the first salt intake levels for children earlier this year. It followed concerns that children's diets often contain more than the recommended limit of salt.
Another study from the FSA earlier this month showed the amount of salt in sausages has increased. Tests found that two standard sausages when cooked contain, on average, more than a third of the amount of salt an adult should consume in a whole day.