A generous sprinkling of salt is as much a part of the traditional fish-and-chips experience as a splash of vinegar. But in these health-conscious times, it was never going to be long before the nation's chippies came under pressure to change. To cut the amount added, a council has come up with a novel, and extremely simple, solution - cut the number of holes in the lids of salt shakers.
Takeaways are being issued with catering-sized salt pots with just five holes in the lid, rather than the usual 17 or 18, cutting the amount of salt on the average portion of chips by more than half.
However critics questioned whether councils ought to be intervening in this way, saying it ought to be down to customers to decide whether to opt for less.
Health campaigners say excess salt intake causes raised blood pressure and that encouraging people to consume no more than the recommended 6g a day would save thousands of lives a year.
They are targeting manufacturers of ready meals and fast food chains such as Pizza Hut and McDonald's, but huge amounts of salt are also routinely added to portions of chips.
Analysis of takeaway meals sprinkled with salt using the traditional 17-hole shakers found they contained up to 3.9g of salt, more than half an adult's daily limit.
The five-hole lids were devised after talks with catering equipment manufacturers, and they are now being distributed to fish-and-chip shops.
To tie in with Salt Awareness Week, which begins next Monday, Rochdale council in Greater Manchester is conducting a trial.
It has the third highest rate of early deaths from heart disease and stroke in England, both of which are linked to high blood pressure, and 13 local chip shops are being sent the new shakers, which cost about £2.30 each.