Our salt reduction targets

Currently, in developed countries, 75-80% of the salt we consume comes from processed foods, with high salt intakes contributing to the risk of strokes and heart disease. This means that across the world, the food industry has a vital role to play in the reduction of population salt intakes.

Many companies are already making great strides in this area but there is still a great disparity country to country and business to business. In light of this, World Action on Salt and Health (WASH) are due to publish a report this month on the action being undertaken by global companies to help the population reduce their salt intakes to recommended levels.

To help with their research, we provided WASH with information on the work we do at Jamie Oliver behind the scenes, to make our products and recipes as healthy as they can be. We are really proud of our commitment to nutrition and salt reduction, so thought we would share some of this information with you.

What are the Jamie Oliver salt targets?

All our products and recipes are created to meet the salt targets that we have set for ourselves as a business, based on the UK Government’s target of 1.5g of salt per portion. Using this, we have set our standards across all of our licensees and partners to keep our salt levels as low as we can.

Jamie Oliver licensed and branded products, UK: For all products sold in the UK, we work to the Department of Health’s 2017 Salt Targets.

Jamie Oliver licensed and branded products, international: For products sold in other territories, we take into account the government nutritional guidelines within each country, as well as our own definition of a healthy product.

Jamie magazine: 30% of recipes in each issue are classified as healthy, meaning that they must contain less than 1.5g salt per portion. We keep salt to a minimum in our recipes, so even for our indulgent recipes, most fall below this target.

Jamie Oliver books and TV series: These are assessed on a case-by-case basis. However, we have published nutrition information in our books since 2012. If it is a health-orientated book, all the recipes will meet our healthy standards.

JamieOliver.com: We are working towards ensuring that only recipes that contain less than 1.5g salt per portion are promoted as healthy.

Jamie’s Italian restaurants, UK and Jamie’s Diner, standard menu: 30% of dishes are healthy, with less than 1.5g of salt per portion, excluding the daily specials, and many of our more indulgent dishes also fall below this target. We’ve signed up to two pledges with the Department of Health, promising to minimise the salt content of our dishes and work with our suppliers to reduce the salt content of the ingredients they provide us with, to get many more dishes to fall below this target. Jamie’s Italian is signed up to the Salt Catering: Procurement and the Out of Home maximum per serving salt targets pledges.

Jamie’s Italian kids’ meals: we do not add any salt and all the main dishes meet our internal children’s nutritions targets, the Caroline Walker Trust children’s nutrition standards.

Union Jacks restaurant, UK: 20% of the menu meets our healthy targets and the use of salt in all dishes is kept to a minimum.

Jamie’s Italian restaurants International: 20% of all dishes on the menu meet our healthy targets, with many more also falling below the 1.5g target, and we are always working to get this higher and working closely with our international partners all the time.

We do lots of of work behind-the-scenes, giving our staff nutrition training and carrying out regular, random tests on our meals to make sure that our nutritional information is consistently correct. It’s important to us that all the dishes served in every one of our restaurants are in-line with our high nutritional standards. As our dishes are made to order, there is always the opportunity for customers to request their meals to be prepared without any added salt, if they so wish.

When working on new international projects, we ensure our standards are put in place, and where some items might be higher in salt than others, we advise about balancing dishes accordingly, to lower the overall salt content for the consumer.

We also await the new Obesity Strategy from the UK Government, where we expect new targets to emerge, and then we will work towards these standards, too.

About Rebecca Bailey-Scott

Rebecca is a nutritionist in Jamie's food team, and got her first-class degree in Food & Human Nutrition at Newcastle University. She is responsible for nutrition across all Jamie’s restaurants, and loves exploring London’s food markets.