Ortiz told the Albany Times Union that he was inspired by his father who "used salt excessively for many years, developed high blood pressure and had a heart attack." Under Ortiz's salt ban, the public would still be allowed to add salt at the table. I have to admit that if I got a batch of unsalted fries, I would add just as much, if not more, salt than the cooks in the kitchen would have.
Ortiz did issue a clarification later in the week: “My intention for this legislation was to prohibit the use of salt as an additive to meals. If salt is a functional component of the recipe, by all means, it should be included. But, when we have meals prepared by restaurants that pile unnecessary amounts of salt, we have a problem.”
New York is not new to bans. New York City passed a ban on trans fat in 2006. For a column in the Chicago Tribune, Mary Schmich talked to Nicole Pederson, executive chef at C-House in Chicago, who compared the ban to the trans fat ban with one important distinction: "Trans fat is bad in every single way... But salt is not bad in every single way."