The Food and Drug Administration today officially announced the availability of final guidance on the federal menu-labeling rule, which means restaurateurs and similar retail food establishments now have a date certain for when the new law will be enforced: May 5, 2017.
The menu-labeling requirement was part of the health care law President Obama signed into law in 2010.
Joan McGlockton, the National Restaurant Association’s vice president of industry affairs and food policy, said the association will continue to work with the FDA to address outstanding industry concerns as restaurateurs prepare to comply.
“The NRA has long advocated for a uniform federal menu-labeling standard and strongly believes in the importance of providing nutrition information to consumers that empowers them to make the best choices for their dietary needs,” she said.
Enforcement begins May 5, 2017. The law will require restaurants and foodservice businesses with 20 or more locations operating under the same name and serving substantially the same menu items to post calorie information for standard menu items and provide guests with additional nutrition information upon request.
The FDA’s final guidance responds to many questions the NRA and its members submitted to the agency after draft guidance was published last September. In its guidance, the agency provided updated answers on such topics as which establishments must comply and how the regulations apply to alcoholic beverages, catered events, mobile vendors, grab-and-go items, and record-keeping requirements.
The agency added it would continue conducting webinars and hold menu-labeling workshops that focus on specific stakeholder needs. The FDA said it would announce more information about the workshops at a later date.
Contact the FDA with menu-labeling requirement questions at CalorieLabeling@fda.hhs.gov.