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17-Ounce Soda Ban Cups Now Part of the DOH Arsenal

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Mayor Bloomberg's soda ban takes effect tomorrow, after which no restaurant receiving a grade from the Department of Health will be allowed to serve sodas or other sugary drinks in sizes greater than 16 ounces. The ban will be enforced as part of the ordinary health inspections that regularly hit restaurants across town. As the Daily News reports, health inspectors will do this work with specially made 17 ounce cups designed to test the volume of sodas being served.

The 17 ounce cup is designed to give restaurants just a little leeway in the amount of sugary drinks being served, allowing for a small (read: 6.25%) margin of error. Restaurants will only be cited if the amount in a serving is found to "clearly exceed" 16 ounces. (It's unclear how many points this will add to a restaurant's inspection grade, if at all.)

Meanwhile, the legal challenge to the ban is ongoing, with soda companies, small business owners, the NAACP, and the Hispanic Federation arguing that it's arbitrary and damaging to small businesses, in no small part because the massive chains like 7-Eleven are exempt. And if that legal challenge doesn't work, a lobbyist for the National Association of Theatre Owners has an idea: "Can someone please call Jerry Seinfeld and request a reunion show just on this ridiculousness?"

· City Restaurant inspectors Will Now Be Armed With 17-Ounce Cups to Make Sure Eateries Aren't Selling Oversized Sugary Beverages [NYDN]
· All Coverage of the Soda Ban [~ENY~]