The New Philadelphia Sodium Law: Is Your Restaurant Menu Compliant?
As of September 14, 2019, Philadelphia became the second city in the United States to enforce a regulation regarding salt content at restaurants. This regulation requires restaurants with more than 15 locations to place warning labels next to menu items containing more than 2,300 mg of sodium. Back in 2015, New York City pioneered this movement, even 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.
Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown originally introduced this new legislation to the city council. According to a press release by the city of Philidelphia, the councilwoman recognizes the significance of Mayor Jim Kenney signing this bill:
“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 average American often consumes significantly more sodium than the recommended daily amount. The American heart Association recommends no more than 1400 mg a day. In 2010, the CDC attributed approximately 1.65 million deaths to excessive sodium intake.
What are the Rules Regarding the Sodium Warnings?
Menus must list the warning 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 begin issuing no-fine warnings until December 2019.
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