The new targets, while voluntary, aim to reduce excessive calories and salts in everyday foods by up to 20% by 2024.
The government is encouraging the food and hospitality industry to assist the ‘‘national effort against Covid-19 and obesity’’.
UKHospitality, the leading trade body representing the country’s hospitality sector, has criticised the targeting of the food and service industry during the current economic downturn.
Kate Nicholls, UKHospitality’s chief executive, said: ‘‘The hospitality sector has been supportive and proactive in helping to provide healthier choices and nutritional information for customers.
‘‘We continue to support the objectives and will never absent ourselves from such well-intentioned pursuits, but the timing of these announcements, with the country still in the grips of a pandemic and hospitality businesses struggling to stay afloat, rather sticks in the craw.’’
She added: ‘‘Never have the burdens threatening the existence of hospitality businesses been more acute – this is not the time to throw petrol on the fire.’’
Public Health Minister Jo Churchill said: “We can all do our bit to stay healthy, to help protect us from coronavirus and take pressure off the NHS.
“The food industry can play their part, by making it as easy as possible for everyone to eat more healthily. These guidelines will help them take positive action.”