Supermarket ready meals

From shelf to microwave, they're ready in minutes. But are these packaged meals any good?
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Based on information on label, per 100g. Traffic light criteria are based on the latest nutrition recommendations and dietary guidelines established by government health experts in Australia and internationally.

  • Fat (g/100g) green_10≤3; orange_103.1-19.9
  • Saturated fat (g/100g) green_10≤1.5; orange_101.6-4.9
  • Sodium (mg/100g) green_10≤120; orange_10121-599


Pack sizes vary, so to compare we use the price per 100g based on prices in Sydney supermarkets in December 2009.


(A) Taste test. A panel of eight CHOICE staff members taste-test the shelf-stable ready meals with green traffic lights for both fat and saturated fat. Meals are prepared according to on-pack instructions, presented on plain plates, with on-pack meal descriptions but no brand identification. Panellists individually consider each meal’s appearance, aroma, taste and texture and give it an overall rating before a consensus vote is taken for the tastiest shelf-stable ready meal in each category.

(B) Packaging. This product packaging is marked by the recycling symbol 7, a catch-all category of plastics that includes polycarbonate. Polycarbonate can release chemicals that have been linked to health problems – see Plastics and food.


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