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Issue Date: Vol. 54, No. 3, March 2014, Posted On: 3/3/2014

Long Island Legislator Wants More Nutritious Options In Vending Machines

Emily Jed
TAGS: vending, Suffolk County vending restriction, Kara Hahn (D-Setauket), healthier vending food proposal, Introductory Resolution 1096-2014

HAUPPAUGE, NY -- Suffolk County Long Island Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) has proposed legislation requiring healthier food options for concession stands and vending machines within all county-owned facilities.

Introductory Resolution 1096-2014, currently being considered by the Legislature's Health Committee, seeks to provide consumers with additional, healthier food options at Suffolk County parks and buildings.

Under the rules, at least two slots in each beverage vending machine on county property would be stocked with water, which operators would have to merchandise in the "highest-selling position." Beverages with more than 25 calories per 8-fl.oz. serving would fill no more than two slots and must be sold in containers that are 12 fluid ounces or smaller.

Snacks would be limited to no more than 200 calories per package. The rules would limit fat, sodium and sugar content and require that any snack offered for sale that is grain- or potato-based contain a minimum of 2g. of fiber.

The rules would mandate that promotional space on any vending machine advertise a healthy choice offered for sale.

Operators would also be required to provide caloric information for each item based on the size of the package offered for sale.

For concession stands at county parks and cafeteria operators on county property, concessionaires would be required to offer a minimum of four fresh fruit choices and a minimum of one type of leafy-green salad with a minimum of one vinegar-based dressing.

The rules would also mandate sandwiches, salads and entrées that have no more than 700 calories, with at least 50% of offerings containing 500 calories or less, no more than 800 mg of sodium and whole grains. Concessionaires would be required to offer a minimum of one steamed, baked or grilled vegetable option daily, with no more than 200mg. of sodium per serving.

The rules would place caps on sodium content and calories for certain menu items, including soups and desserts. Concessionaires would be required to maintain a minimum of one organic option on their menus and to source produce locally, when possible.

The first public hearing on the bill is scheduled for March 4 at 2:30 p.m. in Riverhead.

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