Is the cream tea at risk? Health warning issued after some scones found to contain 10 sugar cubes

The Food Standards Agency conducted a survey of scones and said the variation in fat, sugar and calorie content is significant. Credit: PA

The Government has issued a health warning following a survey of scones which found some to contain up to 10 cubes of sugar and 750 calories.

With jam and cream added, this can bring the traditional cream tea to more than 1,000 calories.

The Food Standards Agency looked at levels of sugar, fat and salt in a range of scones produced in Northern Ireland.

It found their nutritional content varied significantly, with some containing up to 22.7g of fat and around 750 calories.

One fruit scone contained 39.2g of sugar which is the equivalent of 10 sugar cubes, or a regular can of coke.


Sugar content found in one fruit scone, according to FSA survey.


32g of sugar is equivalent to 10 cubes of sugar.

1 can

39.2g of sugar is the equivalent of one can of regular coke.

The report recommends that coffee shops and cafes control their portions, possibly using smaller cutters. Credit: Food Standards Agency

Portion size was also an issue, with much larger scones having a much higher calorie content.

The survey was conducted as part of a Know Your Calories campaign, which aims to inform the public of their recommended daily intake.

According to the organisation, a man needs around 2,500kcal per day to maintain a healthy and balanced diet, while a woman needs around 2,000 kcal.

Some of the recommendations being put forward by the FSA are:

  • Coffee shops and cafes should take steps to reduce portion sizes - they suggest using a smaller cutter.

  • Coffee shops should consider applying calorie labels to the scones they produce to allow customers to make an informed choice.

  • Customers should be mindful of adding butter and jam when eating scones - they suggest choosing lower fat and sugar versions.