FDA pushing food industry to lower sodium levels

The Food and Drug Administration wants restaurants to serve up food with less salt.

The FDA is working on voluntary guidelines, meaning restaurants and companies who make food products will be able to choose how and if they cut down.

Downtowner Kevin Wall said he doesn't mind salt in his food, but new guidelines wouldn't bother him, either.

"I think it's a good thing if it's making people healthier," Wall said.

The FDA believes thousands of deaths from heart disease and stroke each year are due to high sodium found in food from restaurants and food companies.

A downtown business owner in Augusta said he believes it could take a hit on restaurants.

"I think it will hurt some people's business," Farmhaus Burger General Manager Darby Carpenter said. "I think people that get all their products shipped in and don't make much from scratch will see a huge drop from customers."

An FDA commissioner says Americans eat about 1 ½ teaspoons of salt a day. That's a third more than the government recommends.

Carpenter said he gets it.

"Health wise, I think it would be healthier for people to use less salt."

Companies like Walmart and Subway said they're on board to cut sodium levels down by next year. Walmart has agreed to reduce levels by 25% and Subway by 30%.