New York City Becomes First U.S. City to Require High-Salt Warnings on Menus

Starting December 1, New York City chain restaurants are now required to post high-sodium content warnings on menus
Now there’s another reason to think twice before ordering that bacon double cheeseburger.

Shutterstock/New York City

Now there’s another reason to think twice before ordering that bacon double cheeseburger.

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. Next on the chopping block is sodium. As of today, New York City has become the first city nationwide to require chain restaurants to label high-salt content on menus.

Instead of posting the individual sodium content, any menu item above 2,300 mg (or the daily recommended dosage of salt), will be labeled with an icon that looks like a salt shaker inside a black triangle.

The new law applies only to restaurants with 15 or more locations across the country, and any non-compliant chain restaurant could face fines up to $200 for each offending violation, according to the New York Times. This is the first high-profile health advocacy bill passed by Mayor Bill de Blasio. His predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, was known for his attempts to limit unhealthy habits of New Yorkers.

Dr. Mary T. Bassett, the city’s health commissioner, has said that the measure is meant to help the city combat rampant heart disease problems, which is the leading cause of death in New York and in America overall.

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The National Restaurant Association has said that they plan on taking legal action against the city for the new requirement, calling it an “overly onerous and costly burden" on the city’s chain restaurants.