New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced yesterday that sixteen food companies have agreed to join the National Salt Reduction Initiative spearheaded by the city’s health department. The companies have volunteered to reduce the sodium in their products by 25% within the next five years. Mostly, they say they will do this by 2012 or 2014 (see summary table).
Nation’s Restaurant News points out that four of these companies are restaurant chains – Starbucks, Au Bon Pain, Subway, and Uno Chicago Grill. One, Boars Head, is a deli chain. And some food product companies – Mars, for example – are issuing their own press releases.
This is all good news and should encourage many more companies to take the low-salt pledge.
As the New York Times points out, salt lurks in unexpected places in processed foods. The article came with a great graphic, well worth a look.
To translate the numbers, recall that salt is 40% sodium. This means that 400 mg sodium = one gram of salt, 200 mg sodium = half a gram of salt, and 4 grams of salt = 1 teaspoon.