On Wednesday, New York City judge Eileen Rakower refused the request by National Restaurant Association (NRA) to reverse new ordinance that requires larger chain restaurants to place a warning label next to menu items that contain more than 2,300 milligrams of salt.
Heart disease is considered as the leading cause of death in the Unites States. It is closely associated with the higher amount of salt intake in diet. Consumption of food containing high amount of salt causes blood pressure to increase, that in return may lead to heart diseases and stroke. Obeying order will become necessary from March 1 onwards, after which, violators will be penalized by a fine of $200.
The rule obligates restaurants in 15 locations all over the country to post a salt shaker encased in a black triangle as a warning symbol next to menu items with more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium, the daily limit recommended by many nutritionists. By making the information available, consumers can make wise choices as per their interest. "Information is power," said Rakower of New York state Supreme Court in Manhattan in a ruling from the bench. Besides chain restaurants, the rule also applies to concession stands at some movie theaters and sports stadiums.
The National Restaurant Association, a restaurant trade group, called the rule unfair and a burden on restaurant owners. The Association has 500,000 restaurant businesses as its members, and calls itself the world's largest food service trade association.
It believes that such a warning dissuades customers from ordering the particular menu item and that salt shaker icon points out that menu item has more than the US dietary guidelines recommended daily allowance of salt.