The Nanny State

Will Salt Warnings Mean the End of Movie-Theater Pretzels in New York?

Moviegoers could do far worse.
Moviegoers could do far worse. Photo: Emanuele Taroni/Getty Images

The first food to fall in New York’s new salt siege may be movie-theater pretzels: After the city’s Board of Health unanimously agreed yesterday to require that saltshakers be printed beside menu items containing at least 2,300 milligrams of sodium (a day’s worth, per the FDA), the National Association of Theater Owners effectively told moviegoers around town to start getting a concessions backup plan ready, because theater owners aren’t keen to slap warning symbols on their menus. In fact, one theater lobbyist tells the AP that movie theaters might just stop serving pretzels completely to avoid adding the warning symbols. The good news is popcorn is somehow safe: For clarity’s sake, the same association added that even the big buckets come in under the 2,300-milligram limit.

The requirement goes into effect December 1, and it will apply to about 10 percent of chains’ menu items. So far, Panera Bread is the only place that’s openly cool with the plan. Other groups insist, somewhat vocally, that the de Blasio administration is overreaching. The president of the state’s restaurant association calls this move “just the latest in a long litany of superfluous hoops that restaurants here in New York must jump through.” Not surprisingly, critics are promising the city a fight.


Will Salt Warnings Hurt Movie-Theater Pretzels in NYC?