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Salt warning on barbecue meals

A typical barbecue meal could contain double the recommended daily maximum of salt, according to a study.

A meal of a hotdog with mustard, a burger with cheese and barbecue sauce, a piece of marinated meat, a helping of coleslaw and potato salad and plain crisps with dips can add up to 12.11g of salt, Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash) said.

The recommended daily maximum for an adult is 6g a day.

Cash tested 603 barbecue food products including burgers, sausages, crisps, salads and dips from seven supermarkets and brands. It said the meal with the lowest amount of salt contained just 2.75g, revealing a significant difference in salt content across similar-looking products.

A shopping basket of barbecue items from each of the supermarkets could easily exceed 6g of salt, the study found.

A typical barbecue meal from Tesco, Asda and Morrison's each contained more than 9g of salt, with Tesco's adding up to the highest at 9.27g. In comparison, a barbecue meal from Sainsbury's contained less than 4g of salt.

Morrison's Best Sea Salted Handcooked Crisps dipped into Discovery Hot Salsa Dip contained 15 times more salt than Kettle Chips No Added Salt and Morrison's Tomato Salsa, Cash said.

The study also found 174 of the items tested did not have front-of-pack labelling, more than 100 products had no information about salt per portion and 22 products had no salt information at all.

Asda and Marks & Spencer products used the clearest labelling, combining guideline daily amounts (GDAs) and traffic lights. Waitrose labelling was the least consistent and the most difficult to analyse of all the supermarkets, Cash said.

More than 120 million barbecues took place in the UK last year, according to the National BBQ Association. The average number of barbecues held per family each summer has risen from four five years ago to nine now, the association said.

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