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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 February 2008, 09:04 GMT
Shake-up for takeaway salt cellar
Fish and chips
Salt on fish and chips can account for half your daily limit
Fish and chip shops are being offered the chance to help cut their customers salt intake - with shakers that have fewer holes.

Around 120 restaurants in Flintshire are being given the chance to try out the new salt cellars, which have only five holes in the top.

The initiative comes from Flintshire council's trading standards officers, and coincides with salt awareness week.

Health experts say adults should eat no more than 6g a day - around a teaspoon.

"Nationally, on average we are all consuming 9g of salt every day which is far too high," explained Ron Hughes, head of Flintshire trading standards.

"Research has shown that salt added to takeaway meals such as fish and chips can be up to 3g - half the daily intake.

We've had a very positive response from those taking up the offer. They know their customers are benefiting
Ron Hughes, Flintshire trading standards

"In Flintshire we estimate there are over one million fish and chips meals sold every year and we want to work with takeaways to try and introduce a new healthier salt shaker which dispenses less salt."

While traditional chip shop salt cellars have around 17 holes in their top, the healthy option has five.

"What it means is that if people want more salt on their chips, it will mean more shakes, but in general we find that doesn't happen," added Mr Hughes.

Benefits

The council has written to every takeaway restaurant in the county encouraging them to use the new shakers, and has provided some free of charge to fish and chip shops.

"We wanted to target the fish and chip shops first, because that is obviously where the salt shakers get used the most," said Mr Hughes.

"We've had a very positive response from those taking up the offer. They know their customers are benefiting."

The scheme coincides with National Salt Awareness Week, highlighting the health issues around consuming too much salt.

Experts estimate that by reducing salt intake to the recommended levels deaths from strokes could be cut by 24% and from coronary heart disease by 18%.

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