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Popular Hong Kong dishes still high in sodium content, consumer watchdog says

Popular Hong Kong dishes still high in sodium content, consumer watchdog says
Customers queueing to buy snacks being sold by food vendors along a street in Hong Kong on Jan 31, 2017. Sodium content levels in popular Hong Kong dishes have remained the same, according to the city’s consumer watchdog. Photo: AFP
Published: 8:50 PM, March 15, 2017
Updated: 9:06 PM, March 15, 2017

HONG KONG — Sodium content levels in popular Hong Kong dishes have remained the same, according to the city’s consumer watchdog, comparing them to results of studies done over the past decade.

The Consumer Council conducted tests on 10 popular types of meal-on-one-plate dishes – where multiple food items are served on a single plate – using 100 samples.

The dishes included fried noodles with preserved vegetables and spare ribs, spaghetti Bolognese, baked pork chop with rice, and steamed rice with barbecued pork.

It found nearly half of the samples hit or exceeded 2,000mg, the upper limit of the daily sodium intake recommended by the World Health Organisation.

The figures have not changed when compared with studies conducted over the last 10 years.

“We need the food trade and consumers to be aware that these kinds of meals are contributors to their sodium intake,” said Dr Samuel Yeung Tze-kiu, principal medical officer for the Centre for Food Safety. “They have to do something to rectify this situation.”

The latest study found fried noodles with preserved vegetables and spare ribs had the highest level, with an average of 470mg of sodium per 100g.

Dr Yeung said high sodium content could lead to a high risk of developing hypertension which could in turn result in a heart disease or stroke.

He recommended that consumers eliminate or reduce their consumption of sauces and gravy to reduce their sodium intake, and called on the food industry to reformulate their recipes to use less salt. SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST