Picnickers warned of hamper salt and fat overdose

A picnic hamper
A picnic hamper

A typical picnic basket can contain “huge” amounts of salt and saturated fat, health campaigners have warned.

One in four savoury picnic foods is “dangerously high” in salt but almost one in three have no colour-coded front-of-pack labelling, making it difficult for consumers to make healthy choices, Action on Salt (AoS) said.

It is calling for immediate, compulsory nutritional labelling on all picnic savouries.

Although researcheers noted that it was not surprising that olives were salty, AoS found that Aldi’s Specially Selected Hand Stuffed Halkidiki Olives (150g) contained 5g of salt per 100g - double the salt concentration of seawater, while an adult’s suggested portion contained a third of the recommended daily limit - 6g a day, or a level teaspoon.

A Ginsters Cornish Pasty (272g) contained 2.99g of salt per portion, Aldi’s Eat & Go Sausages & Ketchup contained 2.2g per portion and Fry’s Spicy Three Bean Pasty contained 1.8g per portion.

The study also found the saltiest sausage roll was Fry’s Sausage Roll, a vegan brand with 1.8g salt per 100g. Scotch eggs, with an average salt content of 0.76g per 100g, and quiche, with an average salt content of 0.54g per 100g, were the lowest salt categories.

Almost half of the products surveyed were “worryingly high” in saturated fat.

Morrisons Cheese & Onion Slices (330g) contain 17.7g of saturated fat per portion, almost meeting a woman’s recommended daily limit.

Asda’s Extra Special Maple Cured Smoked Bacon Quiche Lorraine with Butter Enriched Shortcrust Pastry (410g) contained 11g of saturated fat per 100g or 14g per portion, almost as much as in five McDonald’s hamburgers.