City can Enforce Salt Rule: Appellate Court

City can Enforce Salt Rule: Appellate Court

PHOTO: The Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court has determined that the City Department of Health can enforce a rule that obliges restaurants to notify customers about items containing large amounts of sodium. Courtesy of the American Heart Association

By Michael V. Cusenza

The Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court has lifted a temporary stay, allowing the City Health Department to enforce the sodium warning rule, which requires chain restaurants to post salt-shaker icons next to items that contain 2,300 milligrams or more of sodium – the total recommended daily limit.

Beginning on Monday, June 6, restaurants that do not comply will incur a $200 fine.

“Today’s Appellate Division ruling allows New Yorkers to make informed and better decisions about their diets and their health,” said Health Commissioner Mary Bassett, M.D. “Restaurant chains throughout the city have already begun posting the warning labels on their menus and helping New Yorkers watch the salt. Diners are now empowered to make informed decisions to lower their sodium intake and reduce the risk of high blood pressure, stroke and other heart-related ailments. This is a tremendous victory for the health of New Yorkers and a wonderful tribute to National Stroke Awareness Month.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio called the rule “a common sense regulation” that will help residents and visitors make healthier decisions.

“New Yorkers deserve to know a whole day’s worth of sodium could be in one menu item, and too much sodium could lead to detrimental health problems, like high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke,” he said.

The National Restaurant Association has characterized the regulation as illegal.

“Today’s decision denying our motion for a preliminary injunction will force the men and women that own New York City’s restaurants to start complying with this unlawful and unprecedented sodium mandate before the court has the chance to rule on the merits of our appeal,” the organization said in a statement via Law360. “We look forward to a full and fair opportunity to make our case on behalf of New York City’s restaurateurs.”


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