The sodium warning label passed! Expect to see more warning labels at larger chain restaurants. The State Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the sodium label warning is a win for the health of every New York City resident. New Yorkers will now have the information necessary to make informed and better decisions about their diets and their health.
The proposal to implement the sodium warning label had been met with some resistance. Health Commissioner Bassett submitted an affidavit (PDF) in support of the Sodium Warning Rule, in response to the National Restaurant Association’s (NRA’s) effort to halt the implementation. Read the press release.
New York is the first city in the nation to require chain restaurants to post warning labels next to menu items that contain high levels of sodium. The proposal was passed unanimously on September 9, 2015 by the New York City Board of Health, and requires restaurants with 15 or more locations nationwide to post the warning labels starting December 1, 2015. Chain restaurants including Applebee’s, Subway, TGI Friday’s, and the Regal Entertainment Group movie theaters have already begun to implement the sodium warning rule, well before fines begin on March 1, 2016.
For questions about the sodium warning label icon, contact email@example.com
For Chain Restaurants
We invite you to let us know of any changes in your menus and will work with you to avoid having violations unnecessarily cited against your stores. You can let the NYC Health Department know that a menu item has been reformulated and no longer requires the warning icon by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If satisfied that the item no longer merits an icon, we will instruct our inspectors to cite menus for not having one next to it. Similarly, you may also contact us if you erroneously receive a violation citing an item which contains less than 2300 milligrams of sodium.
When a company signs onto the initiative, it pledges that its overall sales in a given food category - canned soup, for example - will meet the relevant target for salt content, even if some individual products don't. Unlike past salt reduction efforts in the United States, the NSRI includes mechanisms to monitor sodium in the food supply to track companies' progress toward specific targets. The NYC Health Department measured sodium intake of New Yorkers through a 24-hour urinary sodium analysis as part of the Heart Follow-Up Study (HFUS). For more information about HFUS:
The NSRI applauds the companies that have agreed to pursue NSRI targets, and we encourage all manufacturers, restaurants, supermarkets and other food companies to follow their example.