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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Taxpayer Dollars Spent on Salt Shakers - Food Nazis or Public Health Service?

Problems facing the United Kingdom include pot-holed streets, crumbling schools and garbage in the streets, yet councils in the UK have decided to spend taxpayers money on producing and distributing salt shakers with 5 holes to local chip shops.
Food Nazis or public health service?

It started with the Gateshead Council who spent taxpayers money to research how much salt was being used in take out foods.

They sent their officers out to collect data, obtain samples of fish and chips, measure the amounts of salt in the foods and "carried out experiments to determine how the problem of excessive salt being dispensed could be overcome by design."

Then they declared they had a solution, 5 holes in salt shakers instead of the typical 17.

The further spent taxpayers monies on commissioning Drywite Ltd which is a catering equipment company to make their 5 hole salt shakers, which they bought 1,000 of at £2,000, then they went and handed them out at fast joints in their local areas.

As of now, it is reported that at least six councils have placed orders for these 5 hole salt shakers.

The salt shaker mission is being implemented by the Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services who holds the responsibility for making sure that councils follow food hygiene rules and according to a spokesperson "Heart disease costs taxpayers £7billion a year so to say that projects such as this are a waste of money is mind-boggling.’

They ran into some criticism in the Middlesbrough Council which is controlled by Labour, to which the leader of the Conservatives, Cllr Chris Hobson, said, "This is just silly, a total waste of money in an area where council tax is very high. I’m all for good health but do they really think they are going to stop people using as much salt simply by putting fewer holes in the cellar? They’ll just shake it for longer."

Then comes the obvious problem which was the first thing that entered my head, being a ticking time bomb myself with overly high cholesterol (and I mean off the charts high) and elevated blood pressure, but being a salt fiend anyway, and that is people shake it longer or as one example mentioned by the owner of a local chip shop called Carol’s Plaice, Carol Ackerman who says, "People will just put on more salt if they want more. In fact, we have had some people unscrewing the lids to do so."

Ya think?

Common sense dictates that if people want a saltier flavor they are going to add more salt, lessening the holes in the shakers is just going to mean a couple extra seconds of shaking and for those that have no patience, the caps come off easily enough, believe me, I know.

So when your schools are falling down around your children and crumbling and you have garbage strewn all over your streets and you roads have holes in them because monies are not being spent to fix them.... exactly how helpful is it to pay people to research, collect samples, run experiments, produce the new shakers and pay them to go hand them out, all using the money that is collected from taxpayers, when those same people they claim to be trying to help can simply add as much salt as they want anyway?

(Click image to enlarge-The Soup Nazi from the popular television show "Seinfeld" by Bill Roehl-Flickr)

Reminds me of that Seinfeld show with the soup nazi, but instead of soup the saying would be, "No Salt For You.....ONE YEAR!!!!"

H/T Blue Crab Boulevard.