Health department officials insist the warnings are necessary because most New Yorkers consume too much salt, which can lead to hypertension, heart disease and strokes. They will require restaurants to use their salt shaker warning sign in any of their food menu containing more than the daily sodium limit that most nutritionists suggest.
A new era in nutritional warnings is going to start in New York City, this week, wherein the chain restaurants will need to place a special symbol on highly salty dishes.
The black salt icon will appear next to items listed on the menu and at the checkout counter.
“We want our guests to have as much information as needed to make informed decisions when dining in our restaurants”, Tankel said in a statement. It’s the latest in a series of novel nutritional moves by the nation’s biggest city, and it comes as health advocates, federal regulators and some in the food industry are trying to get Americans to cut down on salt. It noted a “well-established connection” between sodium intake and high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke. Until now, they may have been unaware that the amount of sodium in a Chipotle loaded chicken burrito equals 2,790 mg – slightly more than a teaspoon of salt – or that Subway’s foot-long spicy Italian sub contains even more, with 2,980 mg of sodium in the sandwich. After the city’s Board of Health passed a rule limiting the size of sugary drinks, the association sued to block the regulation. That just went out the window for hungry New Yorkers.
If restaurants don’t add the sodium warning symbols, they will be fined $200.
Calorie counts are already a familiar sight on restaurant menus across the country, prompting diners to feel guilty about what they order at chain eateries.
Peter Huenning, an associate professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in Manhattan, said other cities will probably impose similar requirements, forcing restaurants to change nationwide.
New York City’s salt warning is believed to be the first of its kind in the country