High dietary Na intake is associated with multiple health risks, making accurate assessment of population dietary Na intake critical. In the present study, reporting accuracy of dietary Na intake was evaluated by 24 h urinary Na excretion using the EPIC-Soft 24 h dietary recall (24-HDR). Participants from a subsample of the European Food Consumption Validation study (n 365; countries: Belgium, Norway and Czech Republic), aged 45–65 years, completed two 24 h urine collections and two 24-HDR. Reporting accuracy was calculated as the ratio of reported Na intake to that estimated from the urinary biomarker. A questionnaire on salt use was completed in order to assess the discretionary use of table and cooking salt. The reporting accuracy of dietary Na intake was assessed using two scenarios: (1) a salt adjustment procedure using data from the salt questionnaire; (2) without salt adjustment. Overall, reporting accuracy improved when data from the salt questionnaire were included. The mean reporting accuracy was 0·67 (95 % CI 0·62, 0·72), 0·73 (95 % CI 0·68, 0·79) and 0·79 (95 % CI 0·74, 0·85) for Belgium, Norway and Czech Republic, respectively. Reporting accuracy decreased with increasing BMI among male subjects in all the three countries. For women from Belgium and Norway, reporting accuracy was highest among those classified as obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2: 0·73, 95 % CI 0·67, 0·81 and 0·81, 95 % CI 0·77, 0·86, respectively). The findings from the present study showed considerable underestimation of dietary Na intake assessed using two 24-HDR. The questionnaire-based salt adjustment procedure improved reporting accuracy by 7–13 %. Further development of both the questionnaire and EPIC-Soft databases (e.g. inclusion of a facet to describe salt content) is necessary to estimate population dietary Na intakes accurately.