The New Philadelphia Sodium Law: Is Your Restaurant Menu Compliant?
As of September 14, 2019, Philadelphia has become the second city in the United States to enforce a regulation requiring restaurants with more than 15 locations to place warning labels next to menu items containing 2,300 mg of sodium or more. Back in 2015, New York City was the pioneer in the sodium warning movement which was initially met with pushback from the National Restaurant Association. However, the courts ruled that the basis for this law was sound for the improvement of public health.
This new legislation was originally introduced to the city council by councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown. According to a press release by the city of Philidelphia, the councilwoman recognizes the significance of this bill being signed by Mayor Jim Kenney:
“This is a proud moment for Philadelphia as we become the second city in the country that has intentionally and strategically expanded our sodium menu labeling legislation,” said Councilwoman Reynolds-Brown. “It is incredibly empowering to all Philadelphia’s consumers to know exactly, and quite literally, what they are consuming, especially when their menu choices can negatively affect their health. “
The amount of sodium that the average American consumes is often significantly above the recommended daily amount of 1400 mg by the American Heart Association. According to the CDC, approximately 1.65 million deaths in 2010 were attributed to excessive sodium intake.
The sodium warning on restaurant menus must be listed next to the menu item in bold as shown above. As previously mentioned, this applies to restaurant foods in excess of 2300 mg of sodium.
The city of Philadelphia‘s health department will be issuing no-fine warnings until December 2019.
Does your restaurant menu need a nutrition analysis for compliance with this new sodium menu labeling law? MenuCalc is the leading industry software for nutrition analysis created specifically for menu labeling for the restaurant industry. Contact us to get compliant today.