Boston Market to lower sodium levels

Aug. 22, 2012 at 7:09 PM   |   Comments

GOLDEN, Colo., Aug. 22 (UPI) -- Officials of the Boston Market said they plan to reduce sodium levels of some of the restaurant chain's signature items and remove salt shakers from tables.

George Michel, chief executive officer of Boston Market, said the chain plans to reduce the level of salt in three of its most popular items -- rotisserie chicken, macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes -- by 20 percent and remove the salt shakers from its tables during the next six months, USA Today reported.

The planned sodium reductions included:

-- Rotisserie chicken -- a quarter white -- would drop from 710 mg. to 568 mg.

-- Macaroni and cheese would drop from 1,100 mg. to 880 mg.

-- Mashed potatoes would decreased from 820 mg. to 607 mg.

Signs on the restaurant tables at all 476 U.S. locations will explain the sodium-reducing effort, but some salt shakers will be available at beverage stations, Michel said. He said Boston Market will reduce sodium levels by 15 percent menu-wide by the end of 2014.

Michael Jacobson, executive director at Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, applauded the effort, but added that many of Boston Market's offerings "are loaded with sodium."

To boost flavors in foods with less salt, Boston Market was adding garlic and herbs, Michel said.

Sara Bittorf, chief brand officer, said Boston Market would not become a "healthy" fast-casual chain, because taste is king.

"We're never going to have the healthiest mac and cheese on the block," she said.

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