NYC to start putting salt warnings on restaurant menus

By Tomas Monzon

NEW YORK, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- New York City restaurants must begin putting warnings on menu items with high salt content, the city's health board said Wednesday.

The New York City Health Board voted to require chain restaurants to feature a black triangle with a saltshaker icon next to any menu item that has more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium, which is on the high end of what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends as a daily limit.


The warnings will accompany a written caution saying the consumption of large amounts of sodium can increase the risk of heart disease.

Under the law, scheduled to take effect Dec. 1, restaurants refusing to use the warning would face a $200 fine.

The New York City Health Board said the new law applies only to chain restaurants with 15 or more locations nationally. This means more than 3,000 restaurants in the city will be affected.

New York City joins Seattle in providing sodium and other nutritional information to customers, but Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, told The New York Times the Big Apple's plan is a better attention-grabber than Seattle's rendition.


Seattle requires chain restaurants to include nutritional information in text form on menus. All this information must be visible prior to placing an order.

The icons are a part of Mayor Bill De Blasio's OneNYC plan, which aims to improve New York City's standing on the fight against climate change, economic inequality and premature morality.

Dr. Mary Bassett, commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, told the Times the warnings will help curb the leading cause of death in the country, heart disease, especially among black and Latino New Yorkers.

Some well-known items that will be branded with the warning include a large turkey sandwich at Quiznos, which has 5,820 milligrams of sodium, and a half-rack of ribs at T.G.I. Friday's, which has 2,420 milligrams of sodium.

Panera Bread, which also serves some items that would require a sodium warning, said it agreed with the new law, which it said was in line with the restaurant's goal of being transparent about food on its menus.

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