Salt reduction campaigners like CASH (Consensus Action on Salt and Health) have been instrumental in setting lower and lower bars for salt content in your favourite salty pig-flavoured foods, and producers have been criticised for not meeting the 2012 reduction targets outlined in the Public Health Responsibility Deal.
But the producers are unrepentant. Clare Cheney, director general of PTF said “From the word go we were concerned about… safety… if the salt content were reduced”, complaining that the suppliers themselves “weren’t consulted” on the target levels. Trying to incite a public health scare she added, “we don’t think it would be safe for anybody to meet these salt reduction targets”.
Her argument stems from the risk of clostridium botulinum growth in vacuum packed processed meat products, a process that is slowed by the addition of salt. CASH, of course, recommend that bacon and ham merely be given a shorter supermarket shelf life to compensate. Which just means we’d all have to eat more bacon, quicker. Besides, if you were lucky enough to grow some botox on your bacon, you could just sell it to an old lady who wanted to look like a waxwork.