WASHINGTON – Too much salt is hidden in Americans’ food, and regulators plan to work with manufacturers to cut back — but the government isn’t ready to go along with a major new recommendation that it order a decrease.

“We believe we can achieve some substantial voluntary reductions,” Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “We are shaping a strategy, and that strategy involves working in partnership.”

Don’t expect soups, pizzas and breakfast cereals to taste different any time soon. The FDA’s plans are still being formulated, but the idea is for gradual change so consumer taste buds can adjust, as well as industry recipes and production methods.

Americans eat about 1½ teaspoons of salt daily, more than double what they need for good health and enough to increase the risk of high blood pressure, strokes and other problems. Most of that sodium doesn’t come from the shaker; it’s hidden inside common processed foods and restaurant meals.

On Tuesday, the prestigious Institute of Medicine said the food industry has made little progress in voluntarily reducing sodium. The advisers urged the FDA to set maximum sodium levels for different foods in a stepwise rollback, so that eventually average consumption would drop by about half a teaspoon.

“This needs to be a mandatory standard,” said Dr. Jane E. Henney of the University of Cincinnati, a former FDA commissioner who headed the IOM’s study.

The IOM report doesn’t set a deadline, but says it will take years to phase in the changes for consumers who are used to the taste of a high-salt diet.

One in three U.S. adults has high blood pressure. The American Medical Association has said 150,000 lives a year could be saved by halving sodium levels in processed and restaurant food.