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Recommended Strategies

Primary Strategies


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should expeditiously initiate a process to set mandatory national standards for the sodium content of foods.

(1.1) FDA should modify the generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status of salt added to processed foods in order to reduce the salt content of the food supply in a stepwise manner.

(1.2) FDA should likewise extend its stepwise application of the GRAS modification, adjusted as necessary, to encompass salt added to menu items offered by restaurant/foodservice operations that are sufficiently standardized so as to allow practical implementation.

(1.3) FDA should revisit the GRAS status of other sodium-containing compounds as well as any food additive provisions for such compounds and make adjustments as appropriate, consistent with changes for salt in processed foods and restaurant/foodservice menu items.

Interim Strategies


The food industry should voluntarily act to reduce the sodium content of foods in advance of the implementation of mandatory standards.

(2.1) Food manufacturers and restaurant/foodservice operators should voluntarily accelerate and broaden efforts to reduce sodium in processed foods and menu items, respectively.

(2.2) The food industry, government, professional organizations, and public health partners should work together to promote voluntary collaborations to reduce sodium in foods.

Supporting Strategies


Government agencies, public health and consumer organizations, and the food industry should carry out activities to support the reduction of sodium levels in the food supply.

(3.1) FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) should revise and update—specifically for sodium—the provisions for nutrition labeling, related sodium claims, and disclosure or disqualifying criteria for sodium in foods, including a revision to base the Daily Value for sodium on the Adequate Intake.

(3.2) FDA should extend provisions for sodium content and health claims to restaurant/foodservice menu items and adjust the provisions as needed for use within each sector.

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