By amusementtoday | April 18, 2017
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a final rule in 2014 requiring restaurants and similar retail food establishments that are part of a chain with 20 or more locations doing business under the same name, to provide calorie information for standard menu items as well as additional written nutrition information available upon request per the requirements in the Affordable Care Act.
Originally, compliance was to begin on December 1, 2016; however, under the FY 2016 Omnibus bill, the FDA was prohibited from using any funding to implement or enforce the regulation under one year after the FDA finalized guidance. A detailed website providing information on the final rule, guidance, and consumer resources are available here.
After many delays, the law goes into effect on May 5, 2017.
Who Must Comply
A covered establishment is a fixed position or site restaurant or similar retail food establishment that is part of a chain of 20 or more locations doing business under the same name regardless of the type of ownership and offering substantially the same menu items for sale. This includes any retail food establishment that offers restaurant-type food including food service facilities and concession stands located within entertainment venues like amusement parks and move theaters. The FDA has published guidance for non-covered establishments that would like to register voluntarily to be covered by the rule.
Covered establishments must provide (1) the number of calories contained in a standard menu item; (2) number of calories contained in a standard menu self-service food; and (3) additional written nutrition information upon consumer request. Certain food items are exempt such as temporary items, daily specials, and custom orders. Establishments must provide the calorie information on the primary writing from which the customer makes an order selection including all written menus, electronic menus, menu boards, and online menus. The additional written nutrition information available upon request must include total calories, calories from fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrates, dietary fiber, sugars, and protein.