The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published its menu labeling regulations in compliance with the Affordable Care Act. We’ll try to answer any questions for the new menu labeling rules.
All restaurants with at least 20 locations nationwide that have nearly identical menus and have the same name and ownership are required to achieve these requirements. These establishments may include the following:
- Coffee shops, convenience stores, delicatessens
- Food take-out and/or delivery establishments
- Grocery stores
- Retail confectionary stores
- Quick service restaurants
- Table service restaurants
Calorie information must be posted for each standard menu item on any menu or menu board using a font size no smaller than that of the food name or price, whichever is bigger. Menu types likes breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus, dessert menus, beverage menus, children’s menus, other specialty menus, electronic menus and internet menus must take account of calorie information.
Consumers will also be able to request information about nutrients such as carbohydrates, including total carbohydrates, sugars, and dietary fiber, protein, fat, including total, saturated, and trans fat, sodium, cholesterol. These nutrition information data must be provided to customers in writing.
Foods Not Covered
According to the FDA “Certain foods purchased in grocery stores or other similar retail food establishments that are typically intended for more than one person to eat and require additional preparation before consuming” are not covered by the new rules.
For restaurants already in existence, compliance with the new menu labeling regulations must be on or before December 1, 2015. For new restaurants, you need to be in compliance a year after you make the menu public.