FDA Releases Guidelines for Salt Reduction

FDA Salt Reduction Label

The Food and Drug Administration has released new voluntary sodium reduction guidelines for food manufacturers. They cover 163 categories of processed food, including baby food, snacks, and foodservice items. They are nonbinding recommendations for manufacturers and foodservice to follow for the next two and a half years to cut down on the average consumer's sodium intake.

The FDA has considered the issue of sodium in foods since 2016 but this is the first time that guidelines have been released. Now that the FDA has unveiled these suggestions, it could move forward with stronger or mandatory salt-reduction rulings. While these recommendations are voluntary for the next two and a half years, longer term guidelines could be proposed when these expire.

Medical warnings on the dangers of high salt intake have been growing for years, as has pressure on the federal government to make more stringent regulations on salt content. Manufacturers are also awaiting proposed regulations and definitions of the terms ‘healthy’ and “natural.”