Sodium Reduction at McCain Foods

August 10/CBC News -- McCain Foods is working on new recipes for its packaged food products to meet guidelines laid out in Health Canada's Sodium Reduction Strategy.

In a strategy released at the end of July, the government said Canadians should be eating a maximum of only 2,300mg of salt a day, about a teaspoon. That is 1,100mg less than Canadians are consuming on average now.

Calla Farn, vice president of public relations for McCain, said the company has been working on lowering the sodium levels in their products for a couple of years. "The trend towards healthier food has been going on for some time now," said Farn.

"As the industry leader, we really do have to be proactive. When sodium started to become an issue, it was important for us to act quickly and to respond to both the health concerns and the consumer demands."

McCain has a Better For You program in place that sets a number of health criteria. Its goal is to meet those criteria in 60% of new products launched. The criteria include less than 230mg of salt per serving.

Farn said the company is now working on new recipes for established products that will meet the new voluntary sodium guidelines set by Health Canada. She could not say when they will be ready.

From the August 16, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition