Leading manufacturers D'Orsogna, Fibrisol Service Australia, George Weston Foods, Myosyn Industries, Primo Smallgoods and Ridders Fresh/ Tibaldi as well as major retailers ALDI, Coles and Woolworths are working collaboratively with the Australian Government and public health groups to provide healthier choices for consumers.
The companies involved, which represent more than 95 per cent of the market share for processed meats1 , have committed to action in the area of product reformulation.
Participating companies recognise that sodium and saturated fat are widely distributed across the food supply and are committed to making a difference to sodium and saturated fat intakes. Companies have already been reducing the sodium and saturated fat content of their products in recent years through reformulation. Now further and wider commitments are being made to build on these efforts.
Under the Food Standards Code (the Code), processed meat is defined as a meat product containing no less than 300g/kg meat, where meat either singly or in combination with other ingredients or additives, has undergone a method of processing other than boning, slicing, dicing, mincing or freezing, and includes manufactured meat and cured and/or dried meat flesh in whole cuts or pieces.
For the purpose of this roundtable the definition includes processed meat products that are:
- ready-to-eat meats (excluding pate, cooked uncured meats (e.g. roast meats) and dried meats),
- bacon, and
- pasteurised sausages (including frankfurts, chorizos, cheerios etc).
To achieve the overall objective of reducing sodium and saturated fat in processed meats, participants have agreed to:
- reduce the sodium content of nominated bacon2 and ham/cured meat products to 1090mg per 100g.
- reduce the sodium content of nominated emulsified luncheon meats3 to 830mg per 100g.
- reduce by 10 per cent the saturated fat content of nominated cooked/smoked sausages4 and emulsified luncheon meats that have in excess of 6.5g of saturated fat per 100g.
Companies will report back to the Food and Health Dialogue on progress against the above commitments at six monthly intervals during 2011-12, then annually thereafter.
Companies will also provide to the Department of Health and Ageing reports on sales data and product composition to enable on-going monitoring of progress towards the commitments and reporting of the actual amount (tonnes) of salt and saturated fat and removed from the Australian food supply each year.
1 Retail World, 2009
2 Examples include - Streaky bacon, short cut bacon, rindless bacon
3 Examples include - Devon, strassburg, polish, berlina, mortadella
4 Examples include - Frankfurts, kabana, saveloys