The city’s Board of Health has been a tireless advocate for turning New York menus into joyless hospital checklists. Its latest thrust has been a demand that restaurants with 15 or more locations post little salt shaker icons next to food items containing 2,300-or-more milligrams of sodium. That’s a warning to diners, whether they want one or not.
“I believe information is power,” NYS Supreme Court Justice Eileen Rakower said in rejecting the National Restaurant Association’s objection to the new rule.
We would dissent. We believe that the city’s nanny squad is using its power to force-feed an opinion.
Happily, NYS Appellate Justice David Friedman temporarily stopped the health department from enforcing the mandate. It was to begin today.
We have confidence in our diners’ ability to assess whether they are consuming too much salt and avoid the establishments that overdo it. Restaurants wishing to attract a sodium-averse clientele can put salt-shaker icons on their menus as they choose.
The Board of Health has important work to do, but we wonder whether its $1.6 billion annual budget and army of 6,000 employees might be slimmed down by removing excess menu meddling from its diet.
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