Takeaway meals high in artificial colourings5th September 2011
A study by the Local Government Group has found many takeaway meals contain very high levels of salt and fat.
The study also discovered that two of the most popular types of takeaway meal sometimes contained illegal levels of food colouring.
The research found high levels of fat, salt and colourings in chicken tikka masala and sweet and sour chicken at 223 outlets in England and Wales.
The study showed that when a nut-free chicken tikka dish was ordered, in a fifth of cases nuts were still in the meal.
The researchers looked at 90 Indian restaurants and ordered a portion of chicken tikka masala and pilau rice.
Five out of 25 of the sauces from dishes that were tested contained levels of food colourings which were over the Food Standards Agency maximum of 500mg per kg.
The chicken tikka meals were discovered to have 116% of the RDA of fat and 92% of salt.
An analysis of sweet and sour chicken and fried rice found it had 119% of the RDA of salt and 16 teaspoons of sugar (three quarters of the RDA).
Councillor Paul Bettison, chairman of the Local Government Regulation Board which carried out the study, said that the high levels were "truly shocking and unnecessary".
"There's no excuse for illegal amounts of colouring and as for secretly using a cheaper type of meat, that's just shamefully ripping off customers. And including nuts when you've been told a person suffers from a nut allergy is unforgivable, it could potentially kill them."
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