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Saturday, Jan 22, 2022

Salty warning for turkey and ham

A bowl of instant noodles with ham and an egg sunny side up egg – a popular local dish for any time of the day – contains enough sodium to meet 85 percent of the daily limit recommended by the World Health Organization.
That finding by the Consumer Council came as the watchdog said over 90 percent of ham and turkey slice samples from 30 products tested were high in sodium.

Long-term excessive consumption of processed meats could increase cancer risks, the public was warned. Going with ham and turkey slices as the major source of protein raises risks of high blood pressure due to the a high sodium intake.

The watchdog tested 23 ham and seven turkey products costing HK$20 to HK$100. The average sodium content of ham, 937 milligrams, was found to be 5 percent higher than turkey slices, 888mg.

759Store’s Ham Sliced came in highest at 1,320mg of sodium per 100 grams. An adult who has four Ham Sliced portions a day would exceed WHO’s recommended daily limit of 2,000mg.

Of the turkey samples, Buddig’s Oven Roasted Turkey was the worst as each 100 g slice has 1,100 mg of sodium.

The watchdog said consumers should be mindful of portion sizes when eating dishes that come with ham and turkey slices.

Lui Wing-cheong, vice-chairman of research and testing, said that “a sliced turkey and cheese sandwich would have a sodium intake of about 1,300 mg, amounting to 65 percent of the daily limit.”

The public is urged to consume more food items that are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants to lower the risks of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

The council also found discrepancies exceeding the tolerance limits between the test results of nutrient content from 14 samples and their declared values on nutrition labeling. It has sent information on them to the Centre for Food Safety for follow-up action.

The greatest discrepancy was found in a slice of Oscar Mayer’s Smoked Turkey Breast as 3.4 g of total fat content per 100 g is detected instead of the claimed 1.8 g.

Nutrition labels of Oscar Mayer’s Smoked Turkey Breast and Foster Farms’ Mesquite Smoked Turkey Breast (Smoke flavor added) claimed these products had zero saturated fatty acid content, but they were found to have over 0.6 g of saturated fatty acid per 100 g.

Waitrose & Partners’ British Honey Roast Ham was also found not to be sugar-free as claimed.
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