The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USDA) on Aug. 13 said that it plans to assess industry compliance with the menu labeling requirements that went into effect more than a year ago.
FDA has up until now refrained from enforcing its menu labeling regulations for restaurants and convenience stores and instead focused on education and outreach to help chain restaurants or similar retail food establishments understand the new menu labeling regulations.
The Aug. 13 update, however, clearly indicates that enforcement efforts will increase in earnest.
Under the FDA rule that took effect in 2018, calorie information must be listed for most food items on menus and menu boards, including self-service food, in chain restaurants and convenience stores with 20 or more locations operating under the same name.
FDA said it would continue to support industry to implement the menu labeling requirements, assess implementation progress to further inform education and outreach as well as engage with state, local, tribal and territorial regulatory partners to ensure consistent implementation of the menu labeling requirements.
Specifically, FDA said it would assess industry implementation of the primary components of the menu-labeling requirements including:
• Posting calorie information on menus and menu boards for all standard menu items;
• Disclosing calorie information on signs adjacent to foods on display and self-service foods that are standard menu items;
• Including the succinct statement concerning suggested daily caloric intake and statement of availability for written nutrition information on menus and menu boards; and
• Having required written nutrition information available on the premises of the chain restaurant or similar retail food establishment upon request.
The agency also said in its update that it is committed “working flexibly with chain restaurants or similar retail food establishments to help them achieve compliance in a flexible way.”
NATSO members with questions may contact David Fialkov, NATSO Vice President of Government Affairs, at 703-739-8501.
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