Not too much salt


  • A high intake of salt (about half of which is sodium) increases the risk of heart disease and stroke and is one of the most important causes of death in New Zealand.
  • New Zealanders eat twice the recommended dietary target for sodium (1600mg sodium/day) and 150% of the recommended upper level of intake (2300mg sodium/day).
  • 75% of sodium in our diet comes from salt added to manufactured and foodservice food.
  • Worldwide, attention is now focused on ways to reduce sodium intake, because of the big impact it has on our health.
  • Potatoes are naturally low in sodium
  • Salting next to the fryer can degrade the oil in the fryer.

2007 Survey

  • 83% of independent operators added salt to chips without asking the consumer.
  • Chips contained an average 188 mg sodium/100g chips (the range was 4 – 790 mg sodium/100g of chips).
  • For an average portion of chips (437g), this is equivalent to 820mg sodium and is about half of the amount we are recommended to eat from the total amount of food eaten each day.
  • The large variation of added salt indicates that chips with less salt are acceptable to customers.

Workshop Discussion

Independent fast food

  • Operators could make salt sachets available to the customer, instead of automatically shaking salt on the chips. This was seen as being economically possible. It was felt that it would be simpler and more effective to offer sachets rather than offering shaking salt as an option.


  • Some chefs did not agree with the customer salting the food at the table as they thought it is better to salt the chips when they are hot so that the salt adheres to the chips.


Use salt sparingly if seasoning OR provide salt sachets.