New York City Restaurants Now Required to Mark Items That Contain Excessive Salt

Panera Clam Chowder Bread Bowl

Photo Modified: Flickr/Tony Alter/CC 4.0

Panera's clam chowder bread bowl has 2090 milligrams of sodium.

Restaurants in New York City will now be required to list how much sodium is in each dish.

The New York City Board of Health voted unanimously on September 9 that chain restaurants need to add a symbol next to menu items with more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium — the daily recommended limit. This will be denoted with a salt-shaker symbol. One teaspoon of salt contains about 2,300 milligrams of sodium.

“This really represents, to me, the next step in allowing usable information for our community to make better health decisions,” board member Dr. Deepthiman K. Gowda told The Associated Press. “My hope is that this impacts not only consumer practices but also impacts the practices of our restaurants.”

New York City is the first city to implement this type of measure as high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke rates go up around the country. It has been proven that salt intake is directly related to obesity, and salt levels are dangerously high in children’s fast food meals.

The average American consumes 3,400 milligrams of sodium each day, and only one in 10 people follow the dietary guideline to consume only 2,300 milligrams. The AP notes that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is currently working to create new sodium guidelines.


New York City chain restaurants will implement these symbols on December 1.