FDA Sends Menu-Labeling Rules to White House

After three years, the Food and Drug Administration has sent final menu labeling rules to the White House Office of Management and Budget, kicking off a 90-day review process.

The FDA has yet to announce what changes were made to the rules, which initially were proposed in 2011.

The proposed regulations require chain restaurants with more than 20 locations along with bakeries, grocery stores, convenience stores and coffee chains to clearly post the calorie count for each item on their menus. Additional nutritional information would have to be available upon request. The rules would also apply to vending machines if calorie information isn't already visible on the package.

The proposed FDA rule also defined a “covered entity” as any retailer that devoted more than 50 percent of the store’s floor area to selling food.

NATSO supports the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act, which calls for a less burdensome approach to menu labeling and includes language addressing the types of retail locations that are covered by the federal requirements. The legislation limits those requirements to apply only to restaurants or similar retail food establishments that derive more than 50 percent of their total revenue from the sale of food, with prepackaged food not being considered in this equation. For businesses that are covered by the rules, the legislation allows more flexibility in menu labeling, such as allowing calorie ranges as opposed to a specific number, which is difficult in made-to-order situations. 

Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman's photo

Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman

Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman develops and executes communications strategies to advance NATSO’s public relations and advocacy goals. Tiffany also develops and oversees partnerships related to the NATSO Foundation’s public outreach initiatives. Tiffany lives in the D.C. metro area with her husband and their two sons.More
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