HUMBLE bacon and sausage butties can kill!
A report out today suggests butties bought from lay-by vans and greasy spoon cafes often contain potentially dangerous levels of salt, the Examiner can reveal.
New research shows the average salt content in butties in West Yorkshire to be 3.6grams, more than half of the maximum guideline daily amount of 6g.
And one butty bought in the county contained a startling 4.7g of salt, representing 78% of the limit set by the Food Standards Agency.
Prof Graham MacGregor is a spokesperson for Cash, a campaign group run by concerned health professionals.
He said: “Too much salt causes raised blood pressure, which in turn is a major risk for heart disease and stroke.
“This type of takeaway sandwich gives no clue as to how much salt may be in it.”
The results come after a survey across Yorkshire and the Humber region by West Yorkshire Trading Standings Service.
Its divisional manager, Tony Downham, said: “Once in a while everyone loves a bacon butty, but we need to be aware it is a high-salt product.
“Fried and griddled foods are inherently high in fat and salt, particularly bacon, due to the curing process. Prevalent salt masks the less than delectable flavour of cheap products.
“When people have a bacon butty for breakfast and a sausage sandwich for lunch you are putting your body at risk.
“An alternative might be to have a fried egg sandwich.”
But Mr Downham said the blame did not rest solely with cafes. He said: “We are working with manufacturers and wholesale suppliers to reduce salt in products at source.
“The problem is that many might only do one ‘brand’ of bacon or sausages and the cafes are left with a ‘take it or leave it’ situation.
“Suppliers are obliged to provide nutritional information about the products on demand. We’re saying to small businesses, just ask!”
Andrea Iasonidou, of the Four Cousins cafe in Huddersfield – which was not part of the survey – highlighted this concern.
She said: “I don’t know our salt content, although customers never complain and we sell thousands of butties every day.
“Everybody should be told if their food is too salty.”
Are we worried about the level of salt in bacon and sausage butties?
The Examiner took to the streets of Huddersfield to find out.
And the consensus? People believe the health experts should not interfere in our butty-eating habits.
Rob Heyes, 20, said: “No; I think it’s all stupid. I don’t need people telling me what to eat.”
Marlene Hallas, 68, said: “Yeah, because we eat so much salt it isn’t good for us. But everything tastes bland without it.”
Harry Hemmingway, 76, said: “No; I eat as much salt as I can.”
John Corsdcadden, 59, said: “We only need a bit of salt. In the days of rationing we got used to not having much. Now everyone’s eating trash and getting obese.”