A Scottish sea salt company has ceased trading after its product was found to be mostly cheap table salt imported from Israel.

The Hebridean Sea Salt Company marketed its expensive salt with a very Scottish image, claiming it was “As Pure as Nature” and made from “Grade A certified sea water, taken daily from the remote and stunning Loch Erisort out in the wilds of the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides” However, following a tip off from a former employee, Food Standards Scotland (FSS) discovered that the product had been bulked up with 80% cheap imported table salt.

Advising the media of their findings the FSS took the view that the “deception of consumers on this scale is not acceptable” and that it “could damage Scotland’s well-deserved reputation for high quality, authentic food and drink products”.

The company has enjoyed a £174,573 contribution from Highlands and Islands Enterprise and supplied Waitrose and Sainsbury’s with the deceptive salt. At the time of writing (May 21) the salt was still on offer at Amazon at £3.98 for a small 150 gm bag, or £26.53 a kilo. Table salt sells in supermarkets for 40 pence a kilo.

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