BOSTON -- New rules that dictate what beverages can be sold or served on Boston city property will go into effect on Oct. 1. They apply to vending machines, in addition to cafeterias, concession stands, meetings and events where food is purchased with city dollars.
Mayor Thomas Menino's executive order establishes color-coded standards for determining what beverages can be allowed on city property. Beverages coded "red" -- banned from city properties -- include such sugar-sweetened beverages as presweetened teas and juices with added sugars, and refrigerated coffee, energy, sports and nondiet soft drinks. City buildings have six months before they are required to phase out sales of "red" beverages.
The promotion of "red" beverages on city property through sponsorship agreements with municipal departments, including banners and advertising panels on vending machines, will be prohibited.
Drinks considered to be the healthiest -- coded "green" -- are bottled water, flavored and unflavored seltzer water, low-fat milk and unsweetened soymilk. They will be allowed on city property. Items carrying a "yellow" code, are also allowed. They consist of diet sodas, diet iced teas, 100% juices, low-calorie sports drinks, low-sugar sweetened beverages, sweetened soymilk and flavored sweetened milk.
Posters featuring a traffic light symbol with the words "Stop. Rethink Your Drink. Go on Green." are being placed near vending machines. Public health employees will conduct educational workshops for city employees and will work with city departments to ensure the rules are implemented.