Philadelphia's salt warning rule takes effect at chain restaurants

PHILADELPHIA -- A new rule has gone into effect this week in Philadelphia requiring chain restaurants to post warning labels next to menu items that are high in salt.

Warnings will be shown for any menu item that has more than 2,300 milligrams, which is the recommended sodium total for an entire day.

Restaurants with 15 or more locations are required to post the warnings under the new regulation by Saturday.

Some Philadelphia residents told Action News they don't think knowing how much sodium is in their meal will change their mind on ordering the menu item.

"It's up to you to really be accountable, not the restaurants," said Richard Lawrence.

However, other residents said they think this will help them make healthier choices.

"That's a great idea, it would save a lot of lives," said Teaira Strickland.

The legislation was signed by Mayor Jim Kenney last fall after City Council passed the requirement in 2018.

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley says the labels can help customers make healthier food choices.

"For years, healthcare providers have told patients suffering from hypertension and heart disease to cut back on sodium in their diet, and they have listened and put the salt shakers away," said Farley. "We now know, however, that the largest source of sodium in American's diets are in packaged and restaurant foods. These warning labels will help Philadelphians take charge of their diet and make the right choices for their health."

Officials say Philadelphia has one of the highest rates of hypertension and premature deaths due to heart disease. Eating too much sodium plays a big factor.
Copyright © 2019 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.