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10/14/2021

A call for less salt in packaged, prepared foods

FDA released official guidance and a target date for food manufacturers, branded and own brand, to reduce sodium levels in their products.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has set goals and targets to reduce levels of sodium in commercially processed, packaged and prepared foods, a measure that impacts suppliers of private label products.

In fact, attendees at the recent Washington Conference, presented by the Private Label Manufacturers Association, heard from Dr. Claudine Kavanaugh, director of the Office of Nutrition and Food Labeling Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, FDA. She presented at the conference and said guidance was forthcoming, saying that 71% of the added sodium in a consumer’s diet comes from packaged foods and foodservice — not table salt.

With the FDA’s newly released guidance, downloadable here, the organization is setting a goal for manufacturers to meet recommended sodium levels in two and a half years.

The guidance aims to help Americans reduce average sodium intake to 3,000 mg per day and encourage an even higher recommendation of 2,300 mg a day, mainly through a reduction of sodium in packaged foods.

The nonbinding recommendation from the FDA continues with noting alternative approaches to sodium and more data around sodium intake.