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Hebrides News


Hebridean salt producer denies “80% imported table salt” accusation

19 May 2017

The owner of Hebridean Sea Salt emphatically denies she has done anything wrong after the Food Standards Scotland claimed over 80% of her salt flakes product is “imported table salt.”


The monitoring agency did not say if the “table salt” they refer to is fine grained sea salt though it maintains most of the product they sampled “did not originate” in the Hebrides.


The scale of “deception” is unacceptable and risks harming Scotland’s food industry reputation for high quality, authentic food products, said the agency.


Yesterday, Hebrides News reported that Ms Crayton hit out at Western Isles Council’s “heavy handed” approach” which she said caused her business to close resulting in “extreme financial difficulties.”


Ms Crayton accepted bought-in sea salt was added to “seed” the Hebridean product, previously marketed as hand-harvested from Loch Erisort sealoch - but only in line with common industry practice and “clearly documented in our food safety documentation.” The “seed” salt taken in was pure sea salt without additives, she said.


She also disputes the claim that 80% of her product was not sourced from the Western Isles.


Hebridean Sea Salt’s small factory in Pairc in Lewis has been dormant for months after the premises were raided by investigators acting on a tip-off from a former employee.


In recent days, the door to the production unit was wide open though the place was deserted. Pallets with bags marked table salt from a mainland wholesaler were in plain sight.


















A probe is being carried out by officers in the comhairle’s environmental health department.


In a interview with the Herald today, Ms Crayton stressed: “I am not trying to deceive anyone.  My salt is sea-salt, not table salt. I was very careful where I sourced the seed salt from, so that it was pure sea-salt with no additives.


“Seeding is a recognised process, so why is everyone making such a fuss of me?”


“My product was unique because it was processed in the Hebrides using the clean, pristine sea water off Lewis.


“For the FSS to use the words “table salt” is, I feel, a deliberate attempt to devalue my product and make me look bad.”


She also said the food agency “bullying” forced her business to shut.





Bags marked “table salt” inside the factory unit. Some types of sea salt are marketed as table salt.

Bags of salt at the Hebridean Sea Salt factory unit