Salt warning on restaurant menus
Salt warning on restaurant menus starts this Tuesday – December 1st, 2015 – in New York City, NY. All chain restaurants with more than 15 different locations in NYC will have to include warning on high-sodium foods.
This is a result of the new law that was approved by the New York City Board of Health. All menu items that contain at least 2,300mg (milligrams) of salt will have to display a salt shaker icon beside such items. The above figure is the daily recommended amount of sodium one can safely intake.
And to clarify – this is for foods that already contain this amount of salt – it has nothing to do with you getting carried away with an actual salt shaker.
The new law which was approved in September doesn’t confine how much salt can food contain, and will not penalize affected diners that exceed the recommended dose of sodium.
However, any restaurant owner that fails to display the salt warning icon by March the 1st, will receive a penalty of $200.00. It is disputed whether a fine of this size will actually make any difference as professional re-designing and printing new menus should cost fairly more.
“These warnings are needed in restaurants because the majority of sodium in our diet is not coming from what we decide to add with the salt shaker at the table, it’s already in the food when we buy it,” Dr. Mary Bassett, New York City Health Commissioner said in a statement.
The average American salts their food in the region of 3,000 to 4,000 mg of sodium per day – a much higher dose than the recommended maximum. The Health department trusts that the salt warning is necessary as regular over-dose can lead to hypertension, heart disease, strokes and other related health issues.
Here’s the fun bit – The National Restaurant Association have already decided to battle the newly passed law. Their base argument for doing so is to prove that the salt warning icon will harm many of NYC’s small restaurants that have been composing their recipes which include an excess of salt.
In many cases, salt equals taste – even if you can’t taste the salt itself. Simply put, if sodium wasn’t composed into variety of foods, they wouldn’t taste “the same”.