The owners of Dolmio and Uncle Ben’s pasta sauces have today issued a warning to families that their products should only be consumed ‘occasionally’.
The range of Italian and Asian-inspired sauces are so high in fat, sugar and salt, that they should only be eaten ‘once a week’ rather than as a regular meal.
Mars Foods, who make Mars and Galaxy chocolate, own the Dolmio and Uncle Ben’s brands.
The specific products that come under the new guidelines include Dolmio ‘creamy white’ lasagne sauce, Dolmio pesto, Dolmio carbonara and macaroni oven kits, as well as the Uncle Ben’s oriental sweet and sour sauces and Uncle Ben’s Rice Time pots, which are currently marketed as ‘having a proper lunch’.
The company has taken the step after government plans to tackle obesity and sugar-related illnesses have reached new heights.
If you want to avoid shop-bought varieties, you can make your own homemade pasta sauce
In light of George Osborne’s sugar tax, which was introduced in March, the company has developed ‘very high’ nutritional standards according to Global President Fiona Dawson.
Fiona added; ‘We want to help our consumers understand the difference between everyday and occasional products within a balanced diet.
‘The Mars Food website will be updated within the next few months with a list of ‘occasional’ products – those to be enjoyed once per week – and a list of ‘everyday’ products – including those to be reformulated over the next five years to reduce sodium, sugar, or fat.’
The changes will also see Mars requiring that their tomato-based sauces have to include a minimum of one serving of vegetables per jar.
While shoppers will see changes in the next few months to the amount of information available, it will only be online, rather than in supermarkets.
The company also released targets that will see a reduction of the salt content in its products by an average of 20% by 2021.