Appeals court gives NYC the go-ahead to enforce sodium warning requirement.

  • As previously covered on this blog, New York City (NYC) health officials have adopted the nation’s first sodium warning requirement.  The rule requires restaurants that are part of chains with more than 15 locations nationwide to post warning statements about high sodium consumption levels and to display a salt shaker icon on menus and menu boards next to any food item with a high sodium content (>2,300 mg of sodium) or on tags next to any food on display that is a food item with a high sodium content.  The rule took effect on December 1, 2015, although implementation delays resulted when the National Restaurant Association challenged the rule in court.  In February 2016, a New York Supreme Court judge upheld the warning requirement.
  • On May 26, 2016, an NY appeals court lifted a prior interim order that had temporarily stopped NYC from enforcing the sodium warning requirement.  With this legal obstacle removed, NYC has announced its intent to begin enforcing the requirements on June 6.  Violations are subject to a $200 penalty.
  • Although the National Restaurant Association may continue to pursue its legal challenge to the rule, there is nothing left to protect non-compliant restaurants from enforcement action and penalties pending resolution of the case.