New York City to Implement Voluntary Sodium Reduction

You may have read our CEO’s column in our magazine The Front Burner this month which predicts sodium will be one of the top issues restaurants will face in 2010. No sooner than the ink drying we heard news from the National Restaurant Association that New York City is going to announce a voluntary sodium reduction program next Monday, January 11.

To date NYC has implemented a smoking ban, a ban on trans fats and mandates calories and nutritional information on menus. King County has adopted variations of the same bans and mandates as well. With that said, one could expect that sodium mandates or voluntary programs will emerge in the near future.

The National Restaurant Association supports standardized national legislation on issues such as menu labeling versus a patchwork of legislation that is difficult to comply with in an efficient manner.

The Washington Restaurant Association has not only worked on the issue at the county and state level but we have been developing a program for restaurants in Washington that would include the following components:

  • Chef/Cook healthy lifestyle cooking certification training
  • Database of healthy lifestyle entrees, appetizers and desserts
  • Nutritionist support/network
  • Consumer outreach

It will be interesting to see the voluntary program details this upcoming Monday.

Camille St. Onge
Director of Communications